Per Darren Dreger, the Rangers have traded defenseman Michael Del Zotto to the Nashville Predators for defenseman Kevin Klein, a 29-year-old right-handed defenseman, has a line of 1-2-3 in 47 games with the Preds. His peripherals aren’t spectacular (44% Corsi, -4.4% relative Corsi, 46.7% O/D St%, 28.0% ToTm%QoC) either.
Comparatively, MDZ had 2-9-11 in 42 games with better puck possession and much higher offensive zone starts (51.1% Corsi, -1.6% relative, 60.3% O/D St%, 27.8% ToTm%QoC). Klein is signed for four more years beyond this one at $2.9 milllion, while Del Zotto was set to be an RFA after the season ends.
Honestly, MDZ didn’t really get a fair shake in New York after his rough sophomore season and really needed a change of scenery. That said, the trade gives the Rangers a much-needed right handed shot on the third pairing to go with John Moore. MDZ was certainly a frustrating player to watch, and Klein will be a reliable –but unspectacular– third pairing guy.
According to Nashville bloggers section303.com, Klein was a huge part of the defense corps in Nashville and will be missed.
Suit’s Scouting Report on Klein:
I think Klein is a solid pickup. He kills penalties, blocks a lot of shots, and he isn’t afraid to mix it up. I think he brings some sorely needed grit to the bottom four pairings, and you all know what I thought about needing another right-handed shot.
Could Sather have gotten more for MDZ than a gritty stay-at-home guy? Maybe in another season, but his value has plummeted and ultimately we’re filling a big need. Think of this as an overdue replacement for Sauer and your expectations won’t be disappointed. Hopefully he’ll fit the system.