Kevin Klein Retires From the NHL

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New York Rangers defenseman Kevin Klein will now don the title of ‘former New York Rangers defenseman’ as he announced his retirement today via Twitter. For many Rangers fans, Klein brought an edge and skill set that initially made him a favorite. No. 8 was acquired in 2014 for Michael Del Zotto from the Nashville Predators and played a key role in helping the Blueshirts reach that year’s Stanley Cup Final. 

What Klein meant to the Blueshirts:

One of Klein’s most admirable attributes was sticking up for his teammates. And while many said the nasty edge Dylan McIlrath used to bring was important, Klein brought a similar edge with a much higher skill set. In 2015-16 Klein matched his career high of 26 points (9G, 17A) and a +16 rating that had many believing he could play with Ryan McDonagh. This was proven false especially during the playoffs. However, Kevin Klein had many moments of big hits, big fights and big goals.

What does this mean going forward?

Frankly, this means $2.9 million in additional cap space. Klein’s spot on the roster was in jeopardy especially with the signing of Kevin Shattenkirk. With this cap boost, the “newly found money” can be used to lock up Mika Zibanejad and/or get another center. The loss of Klein can be added to the losses of Derek Stepan and Dan Girardi; it means a loss of leadership and veteran presence while Jeff Gorton ‘retools’ his team. 

 

8 comments

  • A true warrior!!! Thank you for all you did for the Blueshirts Kevin!!!!!

  • Kevin Klein showed his class right to the end of his career. ( also adding 2.9 million in cap space to help his team as he leaves )
    He was a valued teammate , who could be counted on , when things got rough !
    Earlier , during his Rangers career, he was a solid defensive defensemen mentality and would successfully step up into plays with his low accurate right handed shot.
    Injuries ( broken arm trying to stop an Ovechin shot in the 2015/6 playoffs ) and back problems limited his effectiveness this year ( 2016/7 ) .
    He leadership contributions will be missed !!!

  • Walked away with class like Drury this is a hint to you Staal walk away with class you have nothing left. Klein was always there to stick up for his team mates and knew when to leave.

    • As much as it would be nice to see Staal retire there’s no way he’s gonna walk away from 5.7 mill for the next 4 years. You’re talking about walking away from 18.8 mill. Would you say no thanks I don’t need that 18.8 mill?

      • Staal , much like Gerardi , will need to be bought out!
        Agree there is too much money on the table ( 4 more years at $ 5.7 mil !!)
        Staal was 30 in January 2017 !! I expect him to play at least one , if not two more seasons , before being the Rangers buy him out!

        A lot will have to do with when Alexei Berezlazov, Neil Pionk Sean Day , and Or Ryan Graves are ready ?????

        I do believe Nick Holden and /or Tony deAngelo will be traded in an exchange for a center this year

        Next year , I expect Staal ( to be buyout ) and Nash , Grabner Desharnais & Pavelec will be released to sign RFA’s Skjei , Miller , Hayes and Vesey!!!! hoping Anderson , Chytil , , Kovacs , Groop , Nieves and or Huska are NHL ready!!!!

        Continued retooling ….. getting younger , faster and remaining competitive

        Good luck GM Gorton

  • Kevin Klein played his heart out for the New York Rangers before his body broke down. His leadership and junk yard dog mentality will be missed. However, I for one will not miss his man-bun from this past season. He can walk away proud and with his head up knowing he fought and battled with the best for every square inch of ice he skated in his career.

    • Another Ranger that will be missed! Too bad, but time is impossible to fight.
      Like I said before– this season will either be great, or a total bust!!! I wouldn’t bet a dime either way!

  • That’s so funny. I always say how stupid those man buns are. Just the name man bun is stupid enough for me. But yeah I will miss his emotion on the ice. Last year was bad news for Klein and it sucked seeing him like that. It he had a few good years with the Rangers and even scored some big goals for us. I certainly wish him well.

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