The Nashville Predators announced Saturday afternoon that they have re-signed defenseman Kevin Klein to a 5 year, $14.5 million contract extension. Klein has one year remaining on his current contract. Starting in the 2013-14 season, his newest contract will go into effect.
Read the press release and thoughts after the jump.
Here is the press release sent out by the Nashville Predators.
Nashville, Tenn. (September 15, 2012) –
Nashville Predators President of Hockey Operations/General Manager David Poile announced today that the club has signed defenseman Kevin Klein to a five-year, $14.5 million contract that will pay him $3 million in 2013-14, 2014-15 and 2015-16, and $2.75 million in 2016-17 and 2017-18.
“My family and I love Nashville; the fans, my teammates and the city have been very good to us,” Klein said. “I am excited about being a part of this organization and community well into the future.”
“Kevin Klein embodies the Predators way – the culture and belief system we have worked hard to create,” Poile said. “He was drafted and developed by the team, has become an integral part of our defensive corps, and is committed to being a part of our long-term success.”
Klein, 27 (12/13/84), recorded career highs in points (4g-17a-21pts) and assists, while tying a career high in goals in 2011-12. He also tied for 24th in the League, and led the Predators, in blocked shots (151); ranked third on the team in average ice time (19:56) and was one of just two NHL defensemen to play more than 35 games and register four or fewer penalty minutes during his fourth full NHL campaign a season ago. The Kitchener, Ont., native has 65 points (12g-53a) in 309 career regular-season games and nine points (3g-6a) in 28 postseason contests, which included four points (2g-2a) during the 2012 postseason, tying him for first among club blueliners.
Nashville’s third selection, 37th overall (second round), in the 2003 Entry Draft held at Nashville’s Bridgestone Arena, Klein captured a silver medal with Team Canada at the 2004 World Junior Championships in addition to winning the 2004 Ontario Hockey League championship as a member of the Guelph Storm.
Kevin Klein had an impressive playoff performance last season, especially against the Detroit Red Wings. In that series, Klein had three points (2 goals, 1 assist) in five games. However, it wasn't his scoring that allowed him to be remembered in that series, it was his defensive play taking over the injured Hal Gill.
Klein will be an important part of this potential upcoming season and for the next six seasons. If he continues to play like he did in the Western Conference Quarter Finals, the Predators will look very good with their defensive depth.