Yesterday the New York Rangers traded defenseman Michael Del Zotto to the Nashville Predators for defenseman Kevin Klein. There’s been a lot of debate on whether or not the Rangers “won” the trade, and while I feel that both teams benefited from the trade, I’m going to explain to you why the Rangers can be considered winners.
Kevin Klein is a big guy at 6’1 and 200lbs, a veteran with over 400 NHL games, and is a stay at home defenseman. At this point in the season, Klein has 94 shots blocked, one less than Dan Girardi, and 75 hits, 50 less than Dan Girardi. Klein is similar to Girardi, however do not take that as a comparison of their talent, Dan Girardi is CLEARLY the more talented of the two but in terms of the roles they play they’re similar. Think of it this way, we’ve all seen the offensive explosion from Ryan McDonagh this season, he’s 5th on the team in points with 28 so far this season. You have to give some credit for McDonagh’s offensive burst to Girardi for constantly staying at home and allowing McDonagh to join the rush more frequently. Compare that to John Moore, who has the potential to be an offensive-defense man much like McDonagh, but he can’t do that if he does not have a partner to stay at home for him, Klein is that partner he’s been waiting for.
Aside from being the partner to help John Moore realize his potential, there’s another upside to be considered in this trade. Klein is tough, as previously stated, he’s big and he hits, and he knows when and how to stand up for his teammates. He isn’t afraid to fight, which we witnessed earlier this season when he fought Derek Dorsett, and he won’t back down from anyone, two elements that coach Alain Vigneault has been focusing on bringing to the team.
Lastly, it will take at least a few games for Klein to get acquainted to his new team and new defensive partner but when that does happen you can expect good things to happen. This is a good acquisition for the Rangers, they fill the need of a right-handed veteran, stay at home defense man who can help bring a toughness factor to the line-up, and they help out John Moore who’s been itching to breakout of his shell.