Jan 22, 2014, 2:05 PM EST
The trade, first reported by TSN’s Darren Dreger, is pending a confirmation call.
UPDATE: Deal approved, per the Rangers…
#NYR TRADE: Defenseman Kevin Klein has been acquired from the Nashville Predators in exchange for defenseman Michael Del Zotto
— New York Rangers (@NYRangers) January 22, 2014
“Michael gives us another young, gifted left-handed shooting defenseman with significant offensive upside,” Preds GM David Poile said in a statement. “We look forward to his presence on our already talented young blue line, further balancing our defensive corps.”
The move marks an end to Del Zotto’s stay in head coach Alain Vingeault’s doghouse. Since taking over from John Tortorella as Rangers’ bench boss, Vigneault has been highly critical of Del Zotto (see here and here), banishing him to the press box as a healthy scratch on a few occasions.
Del Zotto has enjoyed tremendous success in the past, though, scoring a career-high 41 points in 77 games during the 2011-12 campaign. Despite his defensive shortcomings, he is a talented offensive weapon on the blueline.
The 23-year-old, a former first-round pick, is in the last of a two-year, $5.1 million deal. He’s a RFA at season’s end.
Klein, 29, isn’t as well-known as Del Zotto but has emerged as a quality blueliner for the Preds in recent years. He signed a five-year, $14.5 million deal just prior to the lockout — carrying an affordable $2.9 million cap hit — but has struggled offensively this season, with just three points through 47 games.
In 2011-12, Klein set a career-high by scoring 21 points in just 66 games played, and had four points in 10 playoff appearances. He has been struggling with a foot injury this year, which is believed to have hampered his play.
It’s worth noting that New York and Nashville solidified the right and left sides of their defense with this deal. Klein’s a righty, which is something Vigneault wanted for the Rangers; Del Zotto is a lefty, which balances out the Preds’ blueline.
This deal marks the second significant move made by Poile in recent weeks. Last Monday, Poile shipped one of his big free-agent acquisitions — forward Matt Hendricks — in exchange for Edmonton goalie Devan Dubnyk.
- Rutherford: ‘Our guys felt very strongly about reacquiring’ Lovejoy 37
- Winners and losers of the 2015 trade deadline 59
- Giordano to have surgery, is ‘done for the season’ 18
- PHT’s 2015 NHL Trade Deadline Tracker 35
- Ducks get their veteran d-man, adding Wisniewski from Columbus 12
- Lovejoy returns to Pittsburgh for Despres 50
- Wild get Stewart as Buffalo-to-Minnesota pipeline continues 53
- Jordan Leopold’s daughter may have orchestrated the Minnesota trade 17
- Wings get Zidlicky from Devils 68
- Can the Wings and Leafs work out a deal for Phaneuf? 49
- Wild beat Avs, dying seconds fight set stage for rematch (171)
- Petrovic: Chicago will ‘probably seek revenge’ for Kane injury tonight (82)
- Trade: Blackhawks acquire Vermette from Arizona for Dahlbeck, first rounder (74)
- Report: Alex Petrovic avoids discipline after injuring Patrick Kane (69)
- Trade: Rangers land Yandle, Coyotes receive Duclair, first-rounder (69)