Ducks’ John Klingberg knows he is ‘trade bait’

ANAHEIM — The NHL trade deadline might feel like it is far off in the distance – seven weeks and two days, to be exact – but it already has materialized on the radar of Ducks defenseman John Klingberg.

That’s the simple reality because of the one-year, $7 million contract he signed with the organization in July.

“I know I’m going to be trade bait too,” Klingberg said on Wednesday after the Ducks’ morning skate, hours before their game against Edmonton. “See what happens. I’ll take it day by day. I’m just looking at my own game. I haven’t been happy with the way I’ve played here. It’s been a lot different than I thought it would be.”

Having said that, Klingberg felt that he had a bit of a “mental reset” over the holidays. In their first six games after the three-day holiday recess, the Ducks went 3-3, which included wins against Vegas and Dallas. Klingberg had the game-winning goal in overtime against San Jose on Friday, which was his third game-winning goal of the season.

“The Christmas break came really good for me,” he said. “You just kind of look yourself in the mirror and see what you can do better. How am I playing? What can I do to prove more with my game but at the same time help the team win and accelerate in my role and (help) the team more.”

Klingberg said the Oilers were among the teams he spoke with over the summer during free agency before signing with the Ducks. He had a full no-move clause until Jan. 1, and then it changed to a 10-team, no-trade list.

“We gave it to them (the Ducks) probably like four or five days before Jan. 1,” Klingberg said. “Just to give them the option to see what we’re thinking because I don’t want to end up – if I’m gonna be traded – I don’t want to end up getting traded where I don’t feel like they have a chance to win. Or that I have a chance to play a big role, where it’s a meaningful role where I can prove myself and prove to the team.”


Ducks coach Dallas Eakins said injured center Isac Lundestrom might be able to join the team at some point during their upcoming six-game trip, which starts on Monday in Pittsburgh. Lundestrom suffered a broken finger in a Dec. 1 game at Dallas and was expected to miss about six weeks.

“He’s getting close,” Eakins said. “We’re really hopeful he’ll either start this big road trip we have coming with us or join us. When you see that, he’s not coming along for dinner and pre-game meals. … He’s inching closer. We really miss his speed up the middle.”

-Max Jones was back in the lineup – playing on a line with Jayson Megna and Brett Leason – for the first time since Dec. 12 in Ottawa. The next night, in Toronto, his back seized up during pregame warmups and he was a last-minute scratch.

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