Found January 22, 2014 on
Fox Sports Tennessee:
Michael Del Zotto
New York Rangers
Detroit Red Wings
New York Islanders
For the second time in a week, David Poile has pulled off a significant trade with the Predators.
On Wednesday, the Nashville general manager sent No. 3 defenseman Kevin Klein -- an important part of Predators teams that advanced to the second round for the 2011 and '12 playoffs -- to the New York Rangers for 23-year-old defenseman Michael Del Zotto, a first-round pick in 2008.
On Jan. 15, Poile sent forward Matt Hendricks (four-year deal in the offseason) to Edmonton for goalie Devan Dubnyk.
Instantly, the deal allows for Nashville to have one of the NHL's most promising corps of defensemen. That group already includes 19-year-old rookie Seth Jones (No. 4 overall pick 2013), improving Ryan Ellis, 23 (a former first-round pick), budding star Roman Josi, 23, and rookie Mattias Ekholm, also 23.
Both Ellis and Jones are right-handed shots and have been forced to play on their off side this season.
"Michael gives us another young, gifted left-handed shooting defenseman with significant offensive upside," said, Poile, in a statement, as his team entered the day eight points out of a playoff spot in the Western Conference. "We look forward to his presence on our already talented young blue line, further balancing our defensive corps."
Del Zotto's best season came in 2011-12 when he scored 10 goals and added 31 assists, while posting a plus-20 in 77 games. He also was productive offensively last season, tallying 21 points in 46 games.
This season under new Rangers coach Alain Vigneault, Del Zotto fell out of favor and had two goals and nine assists and a minus-5 rating in 42 games. He played only 12:00 of off time and went minus-1 on Tuesday -- in a 5-3 loss to the New York Islanders.
During the 2011-12 season, Del Zotto was part of a team that reached the Eastern Conference finals, falling to New Jersey. He had 10 points in 20 games that playoff season, but finished minus-4 (21:39 per game).
Del Zotto's ice time has fallen precipitously this season to 17:44 per game (fifth among Rangers defensemen) from 23:10 last season. The year before that, he averaged 24:44 per game.
This trade benefits Nashville for the long-term, even if it sacrifices a bit of a veteran presence in the locker room. The swap might not be greeted so warmly among the Predators, as Klein was a popular player.
For the Predators' win over the Stars on Monday, Klein engaged in a protracted fight that teammates applauded, while also bringing energy to the group.
After a recent game, this observer noticed someone had placed a statue of a Buddha on the floor in the dressing room near the team's logo -- which players and team officials forbid anyone from stepping on. Goalie Carter Hutton said the statue was a reference to Klein (a good-natured joke) because he always remains so calm.
Acquired in 2003 when the NHL Draft was held in Nashville, Klein was selected in the second round before the Predators took current captain Shea Weber. (The Predators also took Ryan Suter in the first round that year, a landmark draft that helped form the organization's foundation for years.)
In the 2011-12 playoffs, Klein was one of the Predators' best players against the Red Wings in a five-game, first-round series victory. His end-to-rush for a goal has provided a signature highlight in the franchise's history.
Additionally, the Mohawk (hairdo) he sported for that series also brought plenty of color.
At 29, Klein is considerably older than Del Zotto. Nashville had him locked up for three more years after this one at a reasonable $2.9 million cap hit. Del Zotto's current cap hit is $2.55 million. After this season, he'll be a restricted free agent.
Klein has played all 403 games of his career for Nashville, totaling 16 goals, 66 assists, a minus-27 rating and only 110 penalty minutes.
In 66 games during the 2011-12 campaign, Klein totaled only four penalty minutes; and he had only four in 47 games last season, as well, indicating he can skate well and defend without having to hook or hold to get the puck away from an opponent.
Most of all, when coach Barry Trotz talks about players playing "The Predator Way," Klein seemed to embody that ideal -- a tough, consistent, two-way player whom the team could depend on a nightly basis.
In Del Zotto, the Predators get a player with more potential. Perhaps Nashville thinks new assistant coach Phil Housley, one of the league's all-time leaders in points by a defenseman, can help convert Del Zotto into an elite player.
One thing seems for certain this season: Poile is not afraid to alter the veteran makeup of this current team, as the Predators attempt a long-shot run at the playoffs.
BEST OF MAXIM
AROUND THE WEB
Michael Del Zotto is now a Nashville Predator. Photo: Anthony J. Causi, N.Y. Post
The trade winds had been blowing for some time around Rangers defenseman Michael Del Zotto, and they finally blew him right out of the Big Apple. Today, New York dealt their former first-round pick (No. 20, 2008) to the Nashville Predators, in exchange for veteran blueliner Kevin Klein.
Del Zotto is...
Per Darren Dreger, the Rangers have traded defenseman Michael Del Zotto to the Nashville Predators for defenseman Kevin Klein, a 29-year-old right-handed defenseman, has a line of 1-2-3 in 47 games with the Preds. His peripherals aren’t spectacular (44% Corsi, -4.4% relative Corsi, 46.7% O/D St%, 28.0% ToTm%QoC) either.
Comparatively, MDZ had 2-9-11 in 42 games with better puck...
Rangers defenseman Michael Del Zotto doesn't have to worry about being on the trade block anymore because on Wednesday the Rangers ended the speculation and traded him to Nashville.
The deal, as first reported by Renaud Lavoie, is straight up Del Zotto for Predators defenseman Kevin Klein.
Michael Del Zotto has been dealt to the Nashville Predators in exchange for defenseman Kevin Klein. Del Zotto fell out of favor with the Rangers fans and coaching staff after struggling mightily out of the gate to start the season.Continue readingThe post Michael Del Zotto Traded to Nashville appeared first on NYR Center Ice Report.
The Nashville Predators have swapped defensemen with the New York Rangers, sending right-handed shooter Kevin Klein to New York in exchange for a lefty in Michael Del Zotto.
The Predators announced the trade Wednesday before heading to Vancouver for a four-game road swing.
''Michael gives us another young, gifted left-handed shooting defenseman with significant offensive...
On Wednesday, the Nashville Predators acquired defenseman Michael Del Zotto from the New York Rangers for defenseman Kevin Klein. Del Zotto, 23, in in the final year of his contract with a $2.9M cap hit; he will be a restricted … Continue reading →The post Predators Acquire Michael Del Zotto appeared first on Committed Indians.
Michael Del Zotto’s tenure with the Rangers, which began with so much promise as a 19-year-old rookie after he was the 20th overall pick in the 2008 draft, ended on Wednesday as he was traded to the Nashville Predators for veteran defenseman Kevin Klein.
Klein, 29, is in the first season of a five-year, $14.5 million deal that carries a salary-cap hit of $2.9 million. More importantly...
New York Rangers president and general manager Glen Sather announced Wednesday that the team has traded defenseman Michael Del Zotto to the Nashville Predators in exchange for defenseman Kevin Klein. Del Zotto, 23, was drafted in the first round (No. 20) by the Rangers in 2008. He debuted during the 2009-10 season with nine goals and 37 points in 80 games. Two seasons later...
The Nashville Predators and New York Rangers made a defensive swap Wednesday afternoon, prior to Thursday night's match in Vancouver against the Canucks. Nashville has acquired Michael Del Zotto from New York in exchange for Kevin Klein.
Del Zotto, 23, stands at 6'0", 195 lbs and has 292 career NHL games under his belt. So far this season in 42 games, Del Zotto...
Well, that came out of nowhere, didn’t it?
During the noon hour today, news broke (via TSN’s Darren Dreger) that the Nashville Predators and New York Rangers had swapped defensemen.
General Manager David Poile and the Preds traded defensive stalwart Kevin Klein to the Rangers in exchange for young and talented Michael Del Zotto. Klein was the second most experienced player on...
On Wednesday afternoon, the New York Rangers traded oft-maligned defenseman Michael Del Zotto to Nashville for defenseman Kevin Klein.
Kevin Who? The Rangers traded a former first-round pick for…Kevin Klein? That’s all they could get?
A fair reaction, to a degree.
Del Zotto is an undeniably talented player, a swift-skating, move-the-puck defenseman who not long ago was...
The Rangers finally made the much rumored, discussed and debated deal of Michael Del Zotto, trading him to the Predators for Kevin Klein.
Despite having played better of late, Del Zotto was still in the cross-hairs nightly. Every mistake, real or perceived, by MDZ drew the ire of every Rangers fan. Even a move from the right side back to the left, which corresponded with improved...
The Predators are in British Columbia tonight for a conference battle with the embattled Vancouver Canucks. More changes for Nashville as Predators GM David Poile announced a trade just before the team hopped their charter yesterday, Kevin Klein was traded to New York for Rangerâs defenseman Michael Del Zotto. Now that we have gotten over the initial shock of the trade, and...
The Predators have traded Kevin Klein in exchange for Michael Del Zotto. Here's our story...
The Nashivlle Predators have acquired Michael Del Zotto from the New York Rangers in exchange for Kevin Klein. Del Zotto had fallen out of favor with new coach Alain Vigneault in New York this season, playing arguably the worst hockey of his career. The 23 year old defender has two goals and 10 points in 37 games this season, being [...]