Klingberg beginning recovery, Kessel wants to play, and potential new St. Pats jerseys: News and Notes

Photo credit:Stephen R. Sylvanie-USA TODAY Sports
Michael Mazzei
26 days ago
John Klingberg will still be out for the remainder of the season, but the latest edition of Insider Trading revealed that the Swedish defenceman is working his way back to the NHL for next year.
Chris Johnston reported that Klingberg got a bilateral hip resurfacing procedure done earlier this month in New York and is beginning his recovery in an attempt to return to action for next season. He is still a ways away from being in consideration for a new contract with any team at this time but his timeline could follow a similar path to what Patrick Kane and Jesse Puljujarvi experienced, both of whom did not get a new deal until roughly two months into the ongoing campaign.
There was plenty of uncertainty that came with the one-year contract he signed with the Leafs last summer and while I am sure Brad Treliving was aware of the risks, even he could not have envisioned Klingberg’s hips failing on him so soon into the season. The ship has likely sailed on the relationship and you can expect Klingberg to find himself elsewhere in the league should he get the clearance to get back.
He ultimately appeared in 14 games prior to him getting shut down for the year where he amassed five assists in that span.
In that same segment, Pierre LeBrun provided an update on Phil Kessel who remains without a contract as the NHL is set to hit the All-Star break. The three-time Cup winner is still hopeful that he can land with a team soon and is in contact with a couple of interested teams, with a possible scenario being him skating with a team or two to stay ready in the event he lands a deal.
This comes on the heels of Zach Parise getting a contract with the Avalanche and Corey Perry with the Oilers, both of whom were unsigned for long stretches of the season for very different reasons. The thinking is that if those two veteran players were able to get signed after not inking a deal for a long stretch of time then there is still a chance Kessel could do the same before March 8.
I wrote about the prospect of a Kessel-Leafs reunion back in September and while there is a potential rift that could impact the likelihood of this happening, it does sound tantalizing in theory and could work out for both parties if they are willing to set aside their differences. But even then, there is still the challenge of determining if there is even a spot for him to be in the lineup even with all of the injuries the Leafs are currently facing. Kessel did say he is fine with not being an everyday player even if that means losing his record-setting Ironman streak, but the team will still need to determine whether it’s worth it to add another scoring winger when team defence remains an issue.
Whether it is with the Leafs or someone else, it would be quite the spectacle to see Kessel back in the NHL this season even though he is far from the player he was at his peak. He is only eight points shy of achieving 1000 career points and he deserves the chance to try and reach the millennium mark at the very least.
When St. Patrick’s Day rolls around, the Leafs could be sporting a different look for their St. Pats jerseys according to Icethetics.
I have a source reporting that the Toronto Maple Leafs could be changing up their St. Pats throwback for this season. I’m told it’s still white with the green chest stripe, but instead of the pill-shaped container for the retro wordmark, it’ll be a shamrock shape instead. Sadly, no photos to share just yet, so you’ll have to let your imagination run with this one for now. If true, this would be the final new sweater from Adidas before they ride off into the sunset. If it’s not true, then we have already seen the last Adizero jersey launch.
Should this change be implemented this year, it would mark the first alteration to the St. Pats jersey since its reintroduction back in 2017. That design has been used at least once in every season apart from the 2019-20 campaign due to the COVID-19 pandemic occurring before the Leafs would have worn it. It is hard to get a read on what this hypothetical redesign could look like since there are no photos available so we will have to wait a bit before assessing whether the alterations are good or bad.
When Fanatics allows NHL teams to start coming up with new designs in 2026, the Leafs should consider bringing back the primary green design or something similar to what they used back in 2002 as that look has remained iconic over two decades later. I don’t think it should replace their current design but instead complement it so that the team has options for future St. Patrick’s Day games.
If nothing else, it’s another opportunity to buy a brand-new Leafs jersey of your favourite player or someone else.
Stats from Hockey-Reference.com.

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