Rangers trade Michael Del Zotto to Nashville for D Kevin Klein


The official announcement from the Rangers:
Send defenseman Michael Del Zotto to Nashville

NEW YORK, January 22, 2014 – New York Rangers President and General Manager Glen Sather announced today that the club has acquired defenseman Kevin Klein from Nashville in exchange for defenseman Michael Del Zotto.
Klein, 29, has registered one goal and two assists in 47 games with the Nashville Predators this season. He currently ranks second on the Predators with 94 blocked shots, and ranks second among team defensemen with 75 hits. His 94 blocked shots are also tied for 22nd in the NHL overall. Klein was credited with 20 blocked shots in a four-game span beginning on October 17 against Los Angeles, and ending with a season-high, seven blocked shots on October 22 at Minnesota. He also skated in his 400th career game on January 11 against Ottawa.
The 6-1, 200-pounder has skated in 403 career regular season contests over nine seasons with Nashville, registering 16 goals and 66 assists for 82 points, along with 110 penalty minutes. He established career-highs in assists (17) and points (21), and tied his career-high in goals (four) while skating in 66 games during the 2011-12 season. Klein ranked third among Nashville defensemen in assists and points that season. He made his NHL debut on December 3, 2005 against Philadelphia, and registered his first career point with a goal on January 26, 2007 at Chicago.
In post-season action, Klein has registered three goals and six assists, along with 12 penalty minutes and a plus-two rating in 28 career playoff contests. He established post-season career-highs in goals (two) and points (four), and tied his career-high in assists (two) during the 2012 playoffs. He tied for first among Nashville defensemen and fourth on the team overall in goals and points that post-season.
The Kitchener, Ontario native was originally selected by the Nashville Predators as a second round choice, 37th overall, in the 2003 NHL Entry Draft.
Del Zotto, 23, has registered two goals and nine assists in 42 games this season. He was originally selected by the Rangers as a first round choice, 20th overall, in the 2008 NHL Entry Draft.

Photo by Getty Images.


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  1. Carped.

    Booby, I read it on the internets.

    Hey, at least they didn’t make a trade with Columbus.

  2. Doodie Machetto on

    bull dog, if you were asking me to rate MDZ’s play, I wouldn’t do it highly. But I look at the 160 or so games I saw him as a rookie and as a third year player, and I compare those to the 130 or so outside of those, and I’m not sure which player is the real MDZ. If its the one from the 160, then this trade is a disaster. I was willing to give him a little bit longer to figure it out.

    Honestly, his value is pretty damn low right now, so would it really have made that much of a difference to get another season out of him to be sure?

  3. 2.55 mil for del zotto and would have been a RFA this summer.

    2.9 mil for Klein and I think e has 3 or 4 years left on his deal

  4. Doodie Machetto on

    I wouldn’t even begin to call Klein Girardi insurance. If Klein is who we use to replace Girardi, might as well pack it in now, boys.

    Now if you told me he’s Stralman insurance, I’d buy that.

  5. I’m ok with this as well, if he is a top 4 righty!

    AND J Moore jumps to another level on the left side.

    Let’s face it DZ was not getting resigned for $4M + for the next 3 – 4 years.

    It’s a business deal. A right hander for 2.9 for the next 4 years.

    I still think Del Zotto is the better player, with a TON more upside.

  6. Doodie,
    if there was no salary cap, you can wait as long as you want. with the cap you have to make decisions sooner.

  7. Doodie Machetto on

    MDZ’s QO for next year would be 2.9. So I can’t imagine it being much higher than that in arbitration. Kid has lousy numbers to point to.

  8. now I would look to get another one like Klein for the left side. I know a lot of you feel Staal has been playing better, but I do not agree at all. they need to upgrade his spot as well.

  9. My *sources* tell me the Rangers are *close* to dealing MotZ. I’m hearing Nashville is a *strong* possibility.

  10. Rob in Beantown on

    I’m hearing the trade is Gaborik to CBJ for Brashear, a guy with a broken collar bone, and a D-man

  11. Sather Must Go! on

    Atvkeast slats recognized the need for some toughness…

    But how does the org have no depth anywhere? Toughness, offensive dman, scorers, playmakers; the “A”is loaded with smaller, 3rd4th line types….I still hope mcillrathturns out, but you cant draft a guy that cant skate…

    That said, i dont mind this trade..

  12. Doodie Machetto on

    This trade is all my fault. I bought my brother MDZ’s Reindeer threeway sweater for Christmas.

  13. I know you do Carp. and others feel the same way. I don’t. he is getting beat to the outside often, and is being knocked off the puck to much for my liking. is he playing better than he was before the concussion? yeah probably. but to me right now he is just a guy.

  14. Doodie Machetto on

    I just see MDZ really doing well in Nashville. This is just bad asset management by Sather.

  15. Del Zotto might just take off this year. Just think if he get Jones on the right side.

    They could be scary good for a lot of years.

  16. talk about selling low… will agree with above, del zotto had a good rookie season and was able to work through things, and then was shipped off the next year when he didn’t progress enough. he was great in 11-12 and added a bite to his game. last year wasn’t great but it seemed like a combination of his confidence being shot this year plus AV not ever being a big fan doomed him this year…

    i can’t see why you don’t wait another little bit here and see if he finds his way… even wait till the deadline and see if you get a player and a pick if his game picked up…

  17. Rob in Beantown on

    New York Rangers @NYRangers
    #NYR Fans @Realkevinklein8 will wear number 8 for the Blueshirts.

  18. Del Z and ‘scary good’ do not go in the same sentence. Let us not get carried away, boys.

  19. That MotZ was able to bring a defenseman comparable to Girardi means his value wasn’t *that* low.

  20. Klein = Stralman

    Pretty much the exact same player. Solid positionally, 4th D minutes, aren’t particularly offensive. An upgrade on the defensive side of the puck from Del Zotto.

    Klein isn’t European and even though he’ll play the exact same role, in the same minutes will “be better” than Stralman in fans eyes. Even though he costs 50% more….

  21. he would be better off with WWEber. Jones is not quite good enough yet to cover for all of MDZ’s bonehead plays.

  22. good thing kreider has seemed to figure it out or else maybe we’d be getting ready to trade him for a bag of pucks

  23. Doodie Machetto on

    “That MotZ was able to bring a defenseman comparable to Girardi means his value wasn’t that low.”

    He is not comparable to Girardi.

    JJP nailed it.

  24. Sather Must Go! on

    There is a premium for toughness… Strahlman is better than klein offensively; klein privides grit and (some) goale protection that strahlman does not ; def room for both

  25. _He is not comparable to Girardi._

    Similar playing style, stay-at-home, shot blocking, kills penalties. Comparable, not as good.

  26. Adam Graves said that as a kid playing hockey in the streets with a net and a tennis ball, if you missed the net, you had to be the one to run a quarter mile to retrieve it. Makes for accurate shooters after a while.

  27. Coos – in 2-3 years once Jones is “ready”.

    It’s a great trade for Nashville that needed a left hander. I think they got the better talent, and a 40 more points per year on the stat sheet.

    Trots will get the best out of DZ. And DZ will get more playing time. He wasn’t doing much here watching the games next to Carp.

  28. Isn’t there some Christmas story or something where person 1 sells something they love to get person 2 a gift that goes with their hobby and person 2 sells the thing that the gift pairs with to get person 1 … you get it. Thats what this feels like. Sather was giving MDZ to Nashville as a perfect compliment to Klein and Nashville was giving us Klein as a perfect compliment to MDZ. Sad face.

  29. MDZ , relative to his peers, in the NHL has no hockey sense. And that doesn’t change with time. He will continue to be a knucklehead at exactly the wrong time for Nashville. Nice skill set, sees the ice pretty well — but you ain’t winning anything if you’re leaning on him when the going gets, well, you know, difficult.

  30. tf,
    interesting that you brought up Kreider. he was sent down, did not sulk, did his thing and got himself recalled. now he is one of there most important player. MDZ got benched, sulked, sulked some more. made excuses, and now he is gone. Zucc was benched, and responded like a pro. jeez, even Pouliot responded like a pro. MDZ is gone because he is still to immature to handle being benched.

  31. apparently his nickname is Optimus Klein, guess we don’t have to figure that one out for him

  32. My take: I do not mind this trade at all. They tried with MDZ to showcase him, but his value wasn’t great. It is what it is. His salary is $2.9M this year, so that would have to be his QO. Whether he would get more is questionable, but it is exactly what Klein’s AAV is for 4 years. In Klein they are getting what they’ve been lacking- a R handed, stay home defenseman with some meanness, who can also drop the gloves, block shots etc. Not too much offense. He isn’t replacing Girardi, but could replace Stralman, or be their 5th if they find someone else. i think Stralman is gone next year.

  33. tf – DZ’s gone because there are 3 better left hand defensemen. And Sather wasn’t going to resign him for $4M next year. Klein was the best Righty out there this year, at that value.

    Klein > 2nd round pick. Right?

  34. Wish DZ the best, I’m sure he’ll do well in Nashville. We didn’t get the best in return, but it wasn’t a bust either.

  35. Wow you guys are really on Staal?? I agree with Carp 100% he has looked awesome the past 3-4 weeks.

    He was shakey to start the season and after the concussion… Now looks really good

  36. My point is, even if Klein is equal to Stralman, everyone in the “MotZ stinks” crowd should be happy with the deal. What I don’t get is the posters who were OK trading him and Miller for Methot now burying this trade.

  37. wtb?!?!? i leave computer for a few minutes and this happens?!?

    still don’t see much scoop on Klein
    other than he shoots right

    what does he bring?

    still surprised that this is what finally went down.
    at the very least MDZ is in western conference
    we’ll just have to deal with him scoring a hat trick against us twice a year rather than multiple time if he stayed in eastern

  38. Good afternoon all! Oh well, bye bye MDZ, it was nice while it lasted.

    Kevin Klein was great in great in A Fish Called Wanda, but how is he on the power play?

  39. Wicky©No one screens the goalie, no one gets to rebounds!!! on

    NATW better be gone next season (or later this season), if he isn;t we are not in good shape on the blueline!

  40. bull dog, either we’re watching different games, or last night is skewing your view. The D has been very good (as a whole) after the first dozen games.

  41. Dez Zaster gets traded for bag of pucks on daily basis around here…and now that he is traded for real, people complain that we didn’t get enough for him! I love this place!

  42. That’s it, Rob. And now I wish I’d bought some nice accessories for MDZ. He has nice hair.

  43. Manny-O-War, King of Metal on

    Good point, Booby. We need to know if *Klein* is *Jewish* because if he is, then I’m excited.

  44. Wicky©No one screens the goalie, no one gets to rebounds!!! on

    I also would still move staal or opg at some point. I agree with the D needing revamped as well. I would love to trade OPG for bieksa.

    I still like methot a lot

  45. it is not good enough to win the cup. to soft overall. very easy to play against. Klein is a start. need another stay at home Dman with a little snarl on the left, and an upgrade over Stralman. McD is the only one I would keep for sure. if Giradi’s price is going to be reasonably ( I doubt it), than I would keep him too. all others can, and should be replaced.

  46. DZ – 1’st rounder in 2008

    KK – 2nd rounder in 2003

    I thought Sather traded for 1’st rounders only :)

  47. Manny-O-War, King of Metal on

    Agree, Bull Dog. We definitely need more snarl if this team wants to compete for a cup.

  48. Wicky©No one screens the goalie, no one gets to rebounds!!! on

    Happy about this trade though, think it is a good one…logical for sure

  49. Manny-O-War, King of Metal on

    It’s logical, and I get it, whatever, but I still hate the idea of giving up on a 23 year old kid that has showed serious potential in the past.

  50. Sather Must Go! on

    Sather loophole:

    2003 second round (except rangers pick) = any other year first round

  51. On paper, this is a crap deal through and through. Good for Del Zotto, though. Was regressing here — now he has a chance to look in the mirror, realize he was traded for a no-potential fill-in, and see if he can resurrect his career. At least Sather traded him when he was playing well enough not to be benched, but scary this is all he could get. We’ll see what Klein brings — it looks as though he might be transitioning into the fight-club part of his career. Dorsett won’t have to fight him any more, at least. I hope the guy can play a little.

  52. fans who posted on this article on tsn are laughing at this trade. They all think preds got a great deal. I know nothing about this guy Klein so until I see him play I will hold judgment.

  53. Oh God, a 23-year old for a 29-year old. That means one thing, Sather is BUYING at the deadline, as though this team could ever get beyond two rounds. That means Sather is mortgaging more of the future for his tin cup present-time titillation fun. He couldn’t just trade Del Zotto for a decent draft pick and promote Allen? Oh, the horror!

    You mean to tell me this buffoon G.M. couldn’t even get a second-rounder thrown into the mix, as compensation for enormous age differential between these two players? I can’t say “I give up” because I did that a long time ago.

    I have more respect for a sack of rotten potatoes.

  54. duckbill platypus on

    This duck has always said Del Z’s lack of foot speed was an issue. If you aren’t going to be fleet of beak, then you must be beak strong.

    That is all!™

    Love and miss you all.

    The Duckster.

  55. duckbill platypus on

    We happened to have a young D-man with even more upside in Jonathan Moore. This also cements the Rangers confidence in Moore in getting him back on the side he more comfy with?

  56. Yet ANOTHER journeyman, soon to be a career downside journeyman, acquisition by Sather. Interesting how Sather traded young blood to obtain Klein, and Klein, in turn, will be blocking young blood from advancing through the system to the top.

    Get the trend? Does Sather want this team to be as old as he is?

  57. Richard Nixon's Head on

    My fellow Earthicans, we enjoy so much freedom, it’s almost sickening. We’re free to chose which hand our sex-monitoring chip is implanted in. And if we don’t want to pay our taxes, why, we’re free to spend a week with the Pain Monster.

  58. Hey Robby Bonfire & Others… Don’t punch Sather for (only) a can of Del Zotto soup! The Rangers don’t need Del Zotto with McDonagh, Staal, Moore, & Allen, all ahead of DZ on the depth chart. As well as Skjei looking in the world jr’s like he’s not too far away from playing the NHL.

  59. Slats and Gordie Clark might not be the best when it comes to selecting draft picks, but they’re certainly not the worst. For every 1st & 2nd round bust there seems to be many more late round surprises. At the very least we know that Sather is not going to trade away his young talent until he see’s that they just can’t make in in New York. Unlike Neil Smith before him who let Keenen come in and bully him into trading all his young talent away (Amonte, Weight, Merchand, etc) for a one year playoff run.

  60. Leethalloffame on

    Does this guy have any toughness to his game at all or do we have another pansy who will stand there while opposing forwards run and abuse Henrik?

  61. I don’t know Klein from Adam but you have to ask yourself, why would the Predators sign him to a five-year contract if he was only a marginal player? I have a feeling Rangers’ fans are going to warm to him pretty quickly. Based on those fighting highlights, I’m anxious to see him play.

  62. and we’ve entered a new phase of Ranger trades, one where the response is a slight variation of the old, “who?” to the new and improved:

    “Oh, him, for who?”

  63. Klein with his 9 goals and his plus 18? You critics of the trade must be hiding your heads in the sand. How many games has this guy won this year, and he has certainly made the backline faster and tougher. A great trade by Sather.

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