Preds Trade Klein to the Rangers

Kevin Klein played with the Milwaukee Admirals from 2004-08.

Taylor Beck wasn’t the only move of the day. This afternoon the Nashville Predators traded defenseman Kevin Klein to the New York Rangers for defenseman Michael Del Zotto. This is what Nashville’s President of Hockey Operations/General Manager David Poile had to say in the team’s official press release regarding the trade:

“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.” David Poile

The move seems to indicate a future top four in defense with two rights and two lefties: Shea Weber, Seth Jones, and Roman Josi. That’s if the team re-signs Del Zotto in the summer – where he can become a restricted free agent. The move for Klein takes place in the first year of a five-year, $14.5M contract. Del Zotto makes $2.55M this season.

Kevin Klein played with the Milwaukee Admirals from 2004-08. In that time he scored 81 points (19 goals, 62 assists) in 220 games. He also played 32 playoff games where he produced 11 points (4 goals, 7 assists). Last year he was voted to the Top 35 Admirals of All-Time list – coming in at #31.

What do you make of this trade? Is Del Zotto a good fit for the Predators? What trades, if any, do you see the Predators making next? What are your memories of Klein’s time with Milwaukee?

6 thoughts on “Preds Trade Klein to the Rangers”

  1. Signs of the youth movement fully underway? Making room for a $10Mil+ 1st liner? Why is GMDP dumping long term contracts?

  2. This is all quite the story on Preds sites, but from an outsider perspective it looks exactly like making salary cap room for the future. Perhaps GMDP finally realizes (or someone made him realize) that the team isn’t going to go anywhere with the multitude of relatively large, long-term contracts they had. From my point of view, the recent moves made are smart ones as they provide future flexibility. The Dubynk trade was absolute genius in regards to freeing up salary cap. This trade, while many may not be happy with the player traded away, is also good in that Del Zotto is an RFA at the end of the year so the Preds have options. Klein had a 5 year contact and quite honestly, was not the type of difference-maker that was going to make or break their playoff chances. I think too many fans in Nasville don’t want to admit they need to go through a rebuilding phase. Luckily they have a good number of young prospects with the Ads.

  3. First timer, this is a great point. Nashville is clearly ditching some long term deals that were dubious at best with recent trades, whatever my affinities are for Kevin Klein (one of my favorite all time Admirals) or Matt Hendricks. They certainly don’t have to sign Dooby or Del Zotto in the off season, with both players essentially auditioning the rest of the season for the next step in their careers. Could a full-fledged rebuild be in the Predators near future? Who is the next man out? With few teams actually out of the race, a bidding war for the few players available seems likely, so now is as good a time as ever to clean house.

  4. Exactly Jason and I am thrilled that GMDP has not waited until March 1st to start moving. He wasn’t the first GM to start making moves and by no means do I think he’s done. I just hope he has a half dozen more players to move out as well as one coach. I like and respect BT but I think his time has come and gone. It is time for a younger more offensively minded coach to lead their team. Someone like Sheldon Keefe to Milwaukee and let Phil/Lane/Dean move up in the interim.

  5. I liked it when Klein zeroed in a pucker carrier with his head down in the neutral zone! He hit one guy into the player’s bench. The victim’s skates were sticking up in the air like a cartoon!

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