TORONTO - Maple Leafs defenceman John Klingberg's season is over.

Toronto general manager Brad Treliving told reporters after Wednesday's practice the 31-year-old is set to undergo hip surgery in the coming weeks that will keep him sidelined up to six months.

Klingberg signed a US$4.15-million contract with the Leafs in free agency with an eye toward the smooth-skating Swede adding to the team's attack.

But he struggled early and never looked comfortable in Toronto, registering five assists in 14 games.

Klingberg, who hasn't played since Nov. 11, was placed on long-term injured reserve last month.

Treliving can now use Klingberg's $4.15-million salary cap hit to bolster his roster, with help for a battered blue line also currently missing Timothy Liljegren (high ankle sprain) and Mark Giordano (broken finger) a top priority.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Dec. 6, 2023.