NHL Trade: Rangers Trade Del Zotto To Predators For Klein

The New York Rangers have traded defenseman Michael Del Zotto to the Nashville Predators for defenseman Kevin Klein.

The 23-year old Del Zotto was drafted 20th overall in the first round of the 2008 draft by the Rangers. He carries a $2.55 million cap hit. He’ll be an RFA after this season.

The 29-year old Klein was drafted 37th overall in the second round of the 2003 draft by the Predators. He carries a $2.9 million salary cap hit for four more seasons after this one.

Thoughts from the media:

  • Jim Diamond: “Intrigued that the Predators would feel the need to add D, when they are playing pretty well right now.”
  • Andrew Gross: “Kevin Klein is a 6-foot-1, right-handed shot d-man. Rangers were looking for another right-hander.”
  • Corey Pronman: “Kevin Klein’s a very average defenseman and maybe b avg who is 29 and signed for 4.5 more seasons at 2.9MM. Striking eval of MZD’s value.”
  • Joe Yerdon: “That’s a couple of long-term deals Poile has tossed aside not long after signing them in Klein and Hendricks.”
  • Darren Dreger: “Rangers have been looking for a right shot d-man for awhile. Vigneault’s influence also a factor from Canuck days facing the Preds.”
  • Bob McKenzie: “NYR get reliable RS defender in Klein, with attractive cost certainty ($2.9M per thru to 2018). Also, insulation if Girardi goes to UFA.”
  • Dirk Hoag: “Sending Klein out of town (for another D?) is a stunning development. He’s a capable stay-at-home type who soaks up PK time.”
  • Dirk Hoag: “One quick thought: this allows the #Preds to go Weber/Jones/Ellis down the right side, and Josi/Del Zotto/Ekholm down the left.”
  • Patrick Kearns: “Rangers needed more offense from back end. Not less. Although Klein light years better defensively and cheap through 2018.”

What are your thoughts on the deal? Who is the winner/loser?

Michael Del Zotto

Kevin Klein


  1. Jeff

    01/22/2014 at 2:49 pm


    1) Scary giving up on such a young and talented D-Man,
    2) Clearly other teams didnt value him that highly, if this is the best the Rangers could do. Klein is what he is, and has entered the decline phase of his career (Age 29 season).
    3) I wouldnt trade with David Poile. Dude is too smart.

  2. tdeuce92

    01/22/2014 at 4:01 pm

    Preds win this trade hands down. Hard to believe all the Rangers could get for MDZ is Klein so that says something about DelZ, but he has a lot of promise – much more upside than Klein that’s for sure.

  3. Chris

    01/22/2014 at 5:55 pm


    D men don’t start declining at 29; for the most part that’s actually when they hit their best years (between 28 and 35+. D men take longer to develop but once they are developed they seem to be solid for a long time. Of course you can see guys like Subban, Karlsson, and Doughty dominate at young ages but when you look at the average top 4 d man they usually don’t establish themselves as reliable and steady until at least 24 or 25 years old and hit their prime a few years after that. I’m thinking of guys like Duncan Keith, Niklas Kronwall etc.

  4. Chris

    01/22/2014 at 5:57 pm

    With that being said, that’s why I would have kept Del Zotto if I were the Rangers. They’ll get a steady second pairing d man but long term I bet they lose. Offensive, right handed d men aren’t all that common.

  5. hotwings

    01/22/2014 at 6:06 pm

    i dont think the preds fleeced the rangers by any means… rangers did get a very nice contract for a reliable d-man… and they dont have to overpay del zotto in the offseason… should allow them to refocus on shoring up their forward ranks..

  6. GaryMagic

    01/22/2014 at 7:28 pm

    29 is only 2 years after most players become unrestricted free agents. That’s when players usually hit their peak and become highly sought after because of their skill, knowledge, and experience.

    But with that said, on paper, this is a terrible trade for NYR. But like reports are saying, DZ wasn’t working for them. What good is it to have some expensive BMW rims when you don’t own a BMW, it’s just not a fit, even if the piece is nice. They get a defensive D-man, which they needed, who is also a righty, which is another need.

    However, I do wonder what other teams were offering. MDZ doesn’t warrant a huge return, but surely something out there was better than Klein