Brooks: Kevin Klein leaning towards retirement

June 13, 2017, by
kevin klein

Photo: Jim McIsaac (Newsday)

In the Unexpected News Of The Day department, Larry Brooks is reporting that defenseman Kevin Klein may actually be leaning towards retirement. Klein has been somewhat of a marvel in New York since arriving, playing solidly through the beginning of this season, and surpassing career highs in points. He earned a reputation for scoring clutch goals in the two seasons before 2016-2017.

Klein has been dealing with some major back issues though, which caused him to miss a good chunk of this season. He was also a healthy scratch through most of the playoffs. It’s unclear if the back issue severely slowed him down, but it was evident that he could not keep up his play and was a liability on the ice. His decline was sharp in the second half of last season, all the way through this full season.

Brooks noted that Klein may continue his career in Europe if he does retire. It’s worth noting that Klein does have a year and $2.75 million ($2.9 million cap hit) left on his deal. Retiring means forfeiting that money. No decision has been made (again per Brooks), but retiring certainly helps the Rangers out.


  1. 43 says:

    As a person, it sucks to see another person lose their livelihood to injury. I wish Kleiner the best.


    I had a bad feeling I was right about this. Hopefully he goes on LTIR & still gets what’s owed to him.

    • Walt says:

      agree, then we get from under the cap hit as well!!!!!!!!

      • Al Hirschen says:

        It’s just like the Devils when Kovy went back to Russia. If he plays overseas his contract gets frozen .And if he’s injured and doesn’t play he’s just like Horton and Clarkson long-term injury list.

        • Walt says:


          Thanks, I didn’t know that the contract was frozen!!!!!!!!

          • Al Hirschen says:

            NHL Rumors @NHLRumorsDaily
            NYR and VGK have had discussions on a deal centered around VGK taking Holden as well as receiving a 2nd round pick and a prospect……… and if we buy out 5. And send Staal out it would open up a shit load of money

        • Reenavipul says:

          Kovalchuk’s contract wasn’t frozen, that’s why he has to play one more season for SKA in order to be free of his obligations to the Devils. The Devils got by because of their financial situation, but still got nailed for circumvention.

          Now Radulov’s contract was frozen.

  3. Rich S says:

    Cant believe he would give up a guaranteed 2.75 million……I wouldn’t, would you?
    If he goes on LTIR do we suffer a cap hit?

    • Reenavipul says:

      You get a credit that allows you to go over the ceiling by the amount of his salary. If you’re under the cap, it still stays on the books.

      As the Rangers like to bank cap credits on the run up to the trade deadline, this does nothing for the team.

      Under CBA 11.19, if there’s a clause in the contract(doubtful) that allows a player to be loaned overseas and the lending club is picking up the entire check, then the team is off the hook. I couldn’t imagine any Euro club willing to pay any D-man $2.75mm asides from Karlsson.

      Better to fail his physical and take the disability money($680k) than try and play a season in Europe than “retiring”.

      BTW, Dylan McIlrath now has more rings than AV in pro hockey.

  4. Mintgecko says:

    This guy has been treated poorly by this fanbase in the last two seasons. I still don’t think that if Smith signs here that he would supply all the clutch offense and steady D that Klein has given to this team in the past few seasons. I thought it was comical after the 2016 run when others on here got on his case but thought people like Stepan did the best he could vs Pittsburgh.

    -Good luck Klein, you’ll be missed

    • Reenavipul says:

      He hasn’t been treated poorly, he’s been treated fairly. He just wasn’t up to it physically anymore; affected his skating and his ability to move guys. Didn’t make him a bad person.

  5. amy says:

    he is going out on his terms if he retires if he decides to stay he will help