In Ken Hitchcock’s only season in Dallas for his second stint, one of the assistant coaches was Rick Wilson, who would coach his 28th and final season in the NHL before retiring. John Klingberg was a 25-year-old upstart defenseman at the time, entering his fourth season in the NHL. Wilson, who had spent five seasons as an assistant at Minnesota, showed Klingberg images of one of the defensemen Wilson coached during his time with the Wild.
“I remember talking to him and he explained a lot about what (Ryan) Suter did and what made him so good,” Klingberg said. “I feel like I know a lot about him. Obviously you know him a little differently when you see him like that, but as a player I feel like I know how he plays pretty well. It’s just about getting to know him as a person. I feel like we have a head start there.
The best Star duo in years has been Klingberg with Esa Lindell and it has certainly been a success. Klingberg and Lindell fitted in well, Klingberg with his offensive instincts and Lindell taking care of the defense and the dirty work. Even when a global talent like Miro Heiskanen arrived, the goal was to form a formidable second duo with Heiskanen. But tinkering with the best pairing? This does not happen.
Well, it’s happening now.
Save my name, email, and website in this browser for the next time I comment.