Rangers InKLEINed to Part Ways with Del Zotto

As several sources have now reported, the beleaguered Del Zotto has been sent to Nashville, marking the end of a long and drawn out saga in which Sather patiently hoped his value would increase. It appears it did not. In return for DZ, the Rangers acquired Kevin Klein, a physical defenseman who checks hard blocks shots, the former of which is something the Rangers have been noticeably lacking of late. However, in exchange for Del Zotto, this seems to be a lateral move at best, particularly when compared to what Sather was reportedly asking for the troubled playmaker. While Klein addresses one issue in the fact that he is a right-handed d-man, he’s also six years older than Del Zotto, and without any real potential for offensive improvement.

There is one other scenario in which this trade makes a lot of sense, and Rangers fans might not like it. Dan Girardi becomes a UFA this off-season, and much has been made about the widespread interest in the stalwart blueliner (even by me, here). Klein’s physicality and defensive capability may be replacement value for Girardi, and could indicate that Sather is looking to move his long-standing #2 d-man rather than watch him walk away in the free agency. Anaheim has admitted that they covet Girardi, and the Ducks have several assets that should be of interest to the Rangers (although some of them, like recently acquired Jakub Silfverberg would be harder to pilfer than others).

Either way, I think it’s safe to say that Glen Sather isn’t done yet.

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