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A quick review of the Klein for Del Zotto trade

Klein

If a trade was judged purely on previous production there would have been a lot more complaints the day the Rangers traded away Michael Del Zotto for Kevin Klein. Luckily, the Ranger fan base is (on the whole) more informed than that.

Looking back at Glen Sather’s acquisition of Kevin Klein, it would be easy to assume Sather gave up on Del Zotto (which was true to an extent) but a more appropriate way of looking at it would be how Sather was able to BETTER balance his defense when he brought Klein on board.

While Klein’s 6 points, +4 rating and 36 hits are not jaw dropping numbers the good ol’ fashioned eye test helps to review his game. Klein has generally impressed with his decision making and ability to make a solid defensive play consistently. His positioning has been consistently good and his ability under pressure has been strong. Klein has no problem taking a hit to make a play and has been a solid addition for the Rangers. No longer do Ranger fans hold their collective breath like they did when Del Zotto wandered around his own zone.

With Ryan McDonagh’s offensive emergence, Dan Girardi and Marc Staal receiving powerplay time and the club’s determination to develop John Moore, Del Zotto simply wasn’t needed in New York anymore, nor were his inconsistencies tolerated any longer. Klein was brought to New York because he addressed a need, whereas Del Zotto could no longer do so.

While Klein has become a solid (albeit relatively expensive) depth option for the Rangers Del Zotto on the other hand is facing a critical juncture in his career as he has yet to reignite his game with the Predators. While Del Zotto’s defensive play has always been a concern, he no longer makes up for his issues with offensive production like when he first made the Rangers as a teenager.

Given the players the Predators can turn to for blueline offense (Shea Weber, Seth Jones, Roman Josi, Ryan Ellis) a budget conscious club like Nashville will surely cut the cord and let Del Zotto go this summer. Del Zotto has just four points in limited action since March 1st and while he remains a talented player who will likely get picked up by a club over the summer, the Rangers clearly won the trade at this stage. There’s only one club that have gotten satisfactory production from their acquisition and that’s the Rangers.

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9 Responses to “A quick review of the Klein for Del Zotto trade”

  1. Fotiu is God says:

    Solid insights, Chris.

    My principal concerns about KK: he’s yet to grow his Southern Goth/backwoods playoff beard. Nor has he re-embraced his mohawk from a previous playoff run with his former club.

    On a more serious note, Klein also needs to begin belting the Flyers forwards, meting out some mauling and punishment around our crease.

    Conversely, it wouldn’t surprise me if The Isles took on Michael Del Zotto as a low-risk, potentially high reward signing, should Nashville not re-up him.

    • Chris A says:

      Wow, yeah, that makes perfect sense. I could totally see MDZ as an Isle, or even a Devil, next year. I’m sure he’s dying to get back to NYC.

      Nashville not giving MDZ a Qualifying Offer can’t be chalked up to being cheap, it’s just a smart hockey move. I don’t care how big a guy’s pedigree is, you can’t give a $3M contract to an offensive D that does pretty much nothing at this point.

      • Chris says:

        I agree it’s a hockey move but a club where the bottom line isn’t the priority may take a chance with a one year deal. Nashville won’t and don’t need to do that. they’d need that 3m elsewhere.

        • Chris A says:

          I feel that would be an expensive, and potentially cap-wrecking, chance for any team to take.

          MDZ now falls into the category of player that Benny Pouliot has been living in the past few years.

  2. Walt says:

    Chrs

    Great points of interest, and I for one am extremely happy that they rid themselves of MDZ. He may still grow up some day, but coming to the big apple, and having all those distractions, surely didn’t help the kid mch. I wish him well, but am glad to see him gone!!!!!

  3. SnakeX3 says:

    Well written. Good points. I think MDZ can contribute somewhere and will eventually establish himself. It was a good deal for the Rangers, good deal for KK and ultimately should be a good deal for MDZ. Nashville is the only real loser in the transaction.

  4. SalMerc says:

    While the trade is a sure win for NYR, I still feel like the upside potential of MDZ is so much higher that KK’s. I guess the question is how long do you wait for that potential.

    • SnakeX3 says:

      I agree. The upside is there and the Rangers could really regret it down the road. *I* wouldn’t have made the deal, but I’m not as privy to the info that the Rangers management has at it’s disposal.

      And you’re right…how long do you wait? The Rangers are in Win Now mode by the way I view their moves since last year’s playoffs. The KK for MDZ deal is logical in that context and has paid dividends for now.

  5. Gary says:

    Nice post Chris. Kleiner is so steady out there. I never thought steady could be so noticeable but it is when you picture MDZ flying around a step behind the play in his own zone.

    That was a lot of mayhem and wasted movement. <—insert here the bit about Hank and his flying Wolenda routine.

    Positioning, man.