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Predators might lean more on Kevin Klein in 2012-13

Sep 9, 2012, 6:57 PM EDT

Kevin Klein #8 of the Nashville Predators skates with the puck past Antoine Vermette #50 of the Phoenix Coyotes in the third period of Game Five of the Western Conference Semifinals during the 2012 NHL Stanley Cup Playoffs at Jobing.com Arena on May 7, 2012 in Glendale, Arizona. The Coyotes defeated the Predators 2-1 to win the series 4 games to 1.
(May 6, 2012 - Source: Christian Petersen/Getty Images North America) Getty Images

The Predators have Shea Weber under contract through 2025-26, but that doesn’t change the fact that Ryan Suter left them this summer as an unrestricted free agent.

Fortunately, the Predators have a number of talented young blueliners in Roman Josi, Ryan Ellis, and Jonathon Blum.

Those three should end up being significant parts of the Predators’ defense, but in the short term, it might be Kevin Klein that ends up finishing second to only Weber in Predators’ playing time.

“You don’t really replace a guy like (Suter),” Klein said, according to The Tennessean. “But we’re going to step up and everyone is going to step up and do a little extra. You’re replacing 28 minutes a game.”

Suter ranked third in the NHL in terms of ice time per game and even bested Weber in that regard. No one player is likely to fill that void, but Klein should play a big role in the post-Suter era.

  1. scionofflame - Sep 9, 2012 at 7:13 PM

    Klein, Hannan, Gill, Ellis, Josi, Blum…Predators have a lot of guys to share the load still, plus other youngsters that might make the team like Mathias Ekholm. Hard void to fill on Suter’s departure, but not impossible.

  2. vshehane - Sep 9, 2012 at 9:28 PM

    We won’t even miss Suter.

    • scionofflame - Sep 9, 2012 at 9:43 PM

      We will miss his ability, but we can live without him.

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