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Rangers Rumors: Carl Klingberg set to sign with KHL

Bobby Bevilacqua

carl klingberg

Carl Klingberg, a prospect that the Rangers traded for at this past trade deadline, looks to be heading to the KHL. Photo courtesy of the Hartford Wolf Pack.

At the trade deadline, Glen Sather and the Rangers made three moves, one of them being a trade that sent Lee Stempniak to the Winnipeg Jets for Carl Klingberg, a prospect playing for the Jets’ AHL team, the St. John’s IceCaps.

At first, the trade seemed a bit odd. Stempniak was effective, boasting solid possession numbers and contributing on the fourth line. He had enough talent to step up the third or second line when someone was injured, and on top of all of that, he was cheap, with a salary of just $900,000.

Klingberg came to the Rangers organization in return, and went to play with the Hartford Wolf Pack. In 13 regular season games with the Pack, he totaled 11 points (2-9-11), following that up with seven points (4-3-7) in 13 playoff games during a run to the Conference Finals.

And now, it looks like the Swedish native is on his way out, prepared to sign with the Torpedo in Nizhny Novgorod, Russia.

It never seemed like the 24 year old Klingberg was never a significant part of the Rangers’ plans, but it seemed like Sather was clearing cap space to bring in James Sheppard from the San Jose Sharks. But Sheppard wound up not really playing because of Tanner Glass, which means that the Rangers moved a quality-winger in Stempniak for nothing.

If Klingberg had signed with an NHL team, the Rangers would have received compensation. But because he looks to be heading to a different league entirely, Sather gets nothing in return.

As a second round pick, 34th overall, Klingberg has never really been able to stick in the NHL, playing in 12 games with the Thrashers and Jets over four years. If he stayed with the Jets, he would have been stuck in a bottom-six role for quite some time. The Rangers are full of top-six talent. By joining the KHL, he practically guarantees ice time and the attention that he needs to develop his game.

In the end, it really seems like a wasted trade for Sather and the Rangers. Stempniak was an effective player and could have helped in the playoffs when players were injured. Klingberg never played a game with New York, and is headed to Russia after 26 total games with the Wolf Pack. And James Sheppard, the guy the Rangers traded Stempniak for to clear cap space, practically never played because Vigneault played Tanner Glass instead. All in all, not worth it.

What are your thoughts? Would you have liked to see Klingberg get a shot with the Rangers? Should Stempniak never have been traded? Leave your thoughts in the comment section below.

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Posted on June 13, 2015, in Rangers Updates and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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