Earlier today, the New York Rangers traded defense man Michael Del Zotto to the Nashville Predators in exchange for defense man Kevin Klein. Klein is a 29 year old, 6’1, 200 pound, right handed shot defense man, who’s played over 400 NHL games so he has plenty of experience. Klein is flying into New York City tonight and will make his debut tomorrow night against the St. Louis Blues.
Speaking to Rangers beat writers, Klein said “It’s a little surprising but exciting at the same time. All I’ve known is the Predators, but this is an exciting new chapter.” He continued by saying that he “Takes defense seriously. I like playing in my own end, it’s something I take pride in.”
Kevin Klein has a $2.9 million cap hit compared to Del Zotto’s $2.55 million and is signed until 2018. Klein is a veteran, right handed, stay at home defense man who’s big, physical and can fight. He’s precisely what the Rangers have been missing since they lost Michael Sauer. He’ll start tomorrow paired with John Moore, and while I have some reservations about paying a third pair defense man three million dollars I think it will be good for Moore to have the ability to use his speed and skate with the puck and become more of an offensive defense man.
This trade is a very good trade for the Rangers, instead of waiting for Del Zotto’s potential to kick in, they bring in a player who fits their defensive needs and will be an asset in helping John Moore develop. I personally think the Rangers won this trade, and I’m excited to see Klein tomorrow night against one of the best teams in the NHL.