Rangers Swap Michael Del Zotto for Predators' Kevin Klein

Rangers swap Michael Del Zotto for Predators' Kevin Klein

1/23/14 in NHL   |   Matthew_Shovlin   |   735 respect

Michael Del Zotto has been a solid defenseman for the New York Rangers over the past few seasons, racking up 62 points over 123 games during the 2011-12 and 2012-13 campaigns. This year, however, Del Zotto has struggled to put up numbers, registering just 11 points through 42 games - he had 21 points in just 46 games last season.

Blog Photo - Rangers swap Michael Del Zotto for Predators' Kevin KleinThe Rangers have apparently grown fed up with his struggles, as TSN insider Darren Dreger has reported that Del Zotto has been traded to the Nashville Predators for defenseman Kevin Klein.

A change of scenery could do wonders for Del Zotto, as he is performing significantly below his typical standards, and at just 23 years old, there is no reason for him to decline at this point in his career. The Predators already have a number of defensemen with strong offensive skill sets, so it is unclear exactly how Del Zotto will fit into the equation, but he could potentially end up on the second power play unit.

As for the Rangers, they give up an offensive defenseman to bring in a hard-nosed bruiser in Klein. He has just three points through 45 games this season, but points are not how you judge a player like Klein. The 29-year-old hits hard and is not afraid to get his body in the way of a scorching slap shot, and he should bolster the Rangers' defense.

The Rangers rank below average in goals scored while ranking above average in goals allowed, so this move was not necessarily to balance out their offense and defense, but rather to get some value for a struggling Del Zotto and bring in some additional toughness.

Nashville needs both offense and defense, so they are simply taking an opportunity to acquire a promising player while he is struggling in hopes that a change of scenery will help him get back in the groove he was in from 2011-13.
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