TSN's Darren Dreger bring us shocking news this afternoon:
Klein, of course, has been a staple of the Nashville Predators for many years, locked up to a 5-year contract just before the 2012 Lockout and a major contributor to the Preds as a shutdown defenseman and penalty killer.
#4 / Defenseman
Jun 24, 1990
|2013 - Michael Del Zotto||42||2||9||11||-5||10||1||0||0||64||3.1|
Del Zotto is a veteran left-handed blueliner from the New York Rangers who should slot in behind Roman Josi on the second pair, adding some balance and experience on that side of the defense. He makes $2.9 million this season (cap hit just over $2.5M), and is scheduled for restricted free agency this summer.
Impact on the Depth Chart
Back in July (see sidebar at right) I speculated that the drafting of Seth Jones might push Kevin Klein out of Nashville, but I will confess to being a bit surprised not to see it done to obtain help up front, which is where the Predators (as usual) have great need. Of course, it takes two to tango on the NHL dance floor, so you can't always get exactly what you want.
But (to quote the Rolling Stones) did the Predators get what they need in the form of an experienced sinister defenseman?