After signing a one-year contract with Anaheim, defenseman John Klingberg met with the media Monday morning to explain what led him to join the Ducks, his thoughts on changing teams for the first time in his NHL career and how he can help mentor some of his new team’s young core.
On joining the Ducks:
If you look at their team, they’ve got some real interesting young players, and they took a step last year. With Zegras and Troy Terry and those guys, what they did last year is exciting for the future. I’m just excited to be able to come there and try to help the team develop and be even better next season.
If you look at the signings in free agency as well with Ryan Strome and Frank Vatrano, I think those are two really good signings as well. If you look at the defensive core, there’s Drysdale – he’s young and it looks like he can have a really bright future in the league. Cam Fowler and Kevin Shattenkirk as veterans, plus Adam Henrique and Silfverberg, too, it’s a very interesting team to be a part of. I’m excited to get down there and get to work.
On changing teams for the first time in his NHL career:
Yeah, it’s something that I’ve been prepared for for more than a year right now. So, it’s probably going to be a little bit different, I’m not sure, but at the same time I’m very excited. It’s going to be like a new chapter in me and my family’s life coming down to California. So that’s going to be exciting. I see myself as a very social guy, so I’m just going to try to come down there and be a part of the group from day one and try to build from there.
On signing a one-year contract:
We were looking for long-term, that’s not a secret. The market is what it is right now. We had to switch up the tactics a little bit and at the end of the day, I realized it’s going to be a shorter term deal here moving into the future. There were a few teams where it came down to where I think the number was fair and where the other teams were at as well. I chose between a couple of teams and for myself the individual, with what I said [about] where I think the Anaheim Ducks as a team, where the organization is and what they try to build on for the future, I think it’s exciting for me. Start off with one year and see where things will move on from there. That’s kind of the thought process I was going through.
On potentially earning a long-term contract next summer:
I mean, it’s probably part of the plan but I’m not going to look too far ahead. Obviously, I want to get a long term at the end of the day. Right now, I’m signing one year with Anaheim and we’re going to have to take it from there. I can’t focus on what’s going to be there in one year. I’m going to need to have a good season and the team is going to need to have a good season as well. I think if the team is successful, I’m going to be successful.
On his potential role with the Ducks:
I talked to Pat [Verbeek] leading up to my decision and I think we had a good open and honest talk. That’s what you appreciate as a player. You can’t put up too [many] words and promises. I understand that part of the business and Pat said that, too. It’s going to be up to myself to come in there and prove myself for the ice time and role I’m going to have. It’s up to me to be able to be ready for and contribute to the team success.
On helping to mentor Jamie Drysdale and the team’s other young players:
I’m just going to be myself and if he feels like he has some things he wants to run by me, I’m going to be open every day to do that. I think that’s just a part of who I am as a person and individual. And it’s not going to just be him. I think it’s going to be with a lot of guys too. Like I said, I’m just going to be myself and I see myself as a helpful guy that they can run their opinions and thoughts by. So I’m just going to come down there and try to be myself.
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