Jan 22, 2014, 2:05 PM EDT
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.
- Blues sign former eighth overall pick Mueller 0
- Trotz plans to let Johansson, Kuznetsov, and Burakovsky compete for time at center 20
- Eric Staal has surgery to repair ‘core muscle injury’ 3
- After not seeing ‘eye-to-eye’ with Carlyle, Reimer will compete for No. 1 gig 11
- Two down, one to go: Wings ink Tatar to three-year, $8.25M deal 11
- Cashing in: Rangers sign Brassard to five-year, $25 million deal 63
- Subban not eager to discuss contract talks 33
- Leafs re-sign Reimer — two years, $4.6 million 22
- Gorges still can’t explain falling out of favor in Montreal 13
- Eller, Habs agree to four-year, $14 million contract 10
- NBC Sports to air over 100 NHL regular-season games in 2014-15 (69)
- Cashing in: Rangers sign Brassard to five-year, $25 million deal (63)
- Avs and O’Reilly agree on two-year deal, but questions remain (45)
- Arena deal in jeopardy? Glendale mayor requests investigation into ‘clear violation’ of state law (42)
- Zuccarello takes Rangers’ one year, $3.5M deal (42)