The Rangers and Predators are swapping defensemen Michael Del Zotto and Kevin Klein, a move that was first reported Wednesday by TSN's Darren Dreger and subsequently confirmed by the teams.
Del Zotto, 23, has been a lightning rod for Rangers fans who wanted more from the puck-moving defenseman. Mistakes in his own end have moved him down the order of Rangers defense pairings and linked him to the trade market all season. Klein, 29, is considered a more dependable, defensive-oriented blue-liner.
The Predators hope Del Zotto's speed and left-handed shot can benefit from a change of scenery before he becomes a restricted free agent after this season. His current contract is worth $2.5 million this season.
Klein has four more years left on a contract that pays him $2.9 million a season.
Del Zotto to Nashville for Kevin Klein. Pending trade call. #TSN
— Darren Dreger (@DarrenDreger) January 22, 2014
#NYR TRADE: Defenseman Kevin Klein has been acquired from the Nashville Predators in exchange for defenseman Michael Del Zotto
— New York Rangers (@NYRangers) January 22, 2014