The Rangers have acquired Kevin Klein from Nashville for Del Zotto. (Darren Dreger)
Klein, 29, is signed for FOUR MORE seasons at $2.9 million.
Klein is 6-1, 199lbs a RIGHT HANDED SHOT and averaging 18:48 per game this season. He averages 2:11 on the PK per game.
- "Rangers have been looking for a right shot d-man for awhile. Vigneault's influence also a factor from Canuck days facing the Preds." (Darren Dreger)
- "NYR get reliable RS defender in Klein, with attractive cost certainty ($2.9M per thru to2018). Also, insulation if Girardi goes to UFA." (Bob McKenzie)
- "AV would have an appreciation for Klein from his days coaching against him in the West. Should be a good, steady fit on right side for NYR. With the move, this also allows John Moore to go back to his natural left side. Just a better fit with Klein now there on the right" (Pierre LeBrun)
- I'm told from NYR that that Klein adds more balance to their Blueline & slots their D in more natural positions. (Kevin Weekes)
Del Zotto is an RFA at the end of the season and has a cap hit of $2.55 million. He is averaging 17:44 per game.
Predators GM David Poile says in a release, "“Michael gives us another young, gifted left-handed shooting defenseman with significant offensive upside. We look forward to his presence on our already talented young blue line, further balancing our defensive corps.”
THIS SECTION is all about Del Zotto rumors.
Adam Rotter: It was only a matter of time before Del Zotto was traded and the Rangers acquire a right-handed defenseman who is a veteran and under contract for a while. Del Zotto was expected to be a big part of Alain Vigneault's offensive system and while he struggled with that he also struggled in his own zone and ultimately it became clear that whether the team was able to trade Del Zotto this season or not, he wasn't going to be part of the Rangers future. The Rangers couldn't keep waiting on Del Zotto to reach his potential. He was regressing and they had to make a move when they could still get something that they felt could help. I have no ill will towards Del Zotto, unlike many fans who despise him, and I hope he gets back to being an effective player again, it just didn't seem like that was going to happen with the Rangers.
In the short-term I think this is a deal that works for the Rangers, gives them a steady defenseman and a plan to replace Anton Stralman if he gets to UFA or wants too much money. I don't think this is the return that many were expecting, I thought it would be more of a Jake Gardiner type of high-upside/inconsistent defenseman, but instead the Rangers get what seems like a quiet and reliable defenseman who can kill penalties, eat minutes and make a positive impact. He doesn't have tremendous upside, but if he can just be a solid player for the Rangers it will be a good move.
NEW YORK, January 22, 2014 – New York Rangers President and General Manager Glen Sather announced today that the club has acquired defenseman Kevin Klein from Nashville in exchange for defenseman Michael Del Zotto.
Klein, 29, has registered one goal and two assists in 47 games with the Nashville Predators this season. He currently ranks second on the Predators with 94 blocked shots, and ranks second among team defensemen with 75 hits. His 94 blocked shots are also tied for 22nd in the NHL overall. Klein was credited with 20 blocked shots in a four-game span beginning on October 17 against Los Angeles, and ending with a season-high, seven blocked shots on October 22 at Minnesota. He also skated in his 400th career game on January 11 against Ottawa.
The 6-1, 200-pounder has skated in 403 career regular season contests over nine seasons with Nashville, registering 16 goals and 66 assists for 82 points, along with 110 penalty minutes. He established career-highs in assists (17) and points (21), and tied his career-high in goals (four) while skating in 66 games during the 2011-12 season. Klein ranked third among Nashville defensemen in assists and points that season. He made his NHL debut on December 3, 2005 against Philadelphia, and registered his first career point with a goal on January 26, 2007 at Chicago.
In post-season action, Klein has registered three goals and six assists, along with 12 penalty minutes and a plus-two rating in 28 career playoff contests. He established post-season career-highs in goals (two) and points (four), and tied his career-high in assists (two) during the 2012 playoffs. He tied for first among Nashville defensemen and fourth on the team overall in goals and points that post-season.
The Kitchener, Ontario native was originally selected by the Nashville Predators as a second round choice, 37th overall, in the 2003 NHL Entry Draft.
Del Zotto, 23, has registered two goals and nine assists in 42 games this season. He was originally selected by the Rangers as a first round choice, 20th overall, in the 2008 NHL Entry Draft.