Back in late January, then New York Rangers‘ defenseman Michael Del Zotto was dealt to the Nashville Predators for defenseman Kevin Klein. Del Zotto was subject to trade rumors for a long time, so it was really not a matter of if, but when and which team would trade for him.
When the trade became official, many Rangers fans were automatically upset over the deal because of the age difference between the two defensemen and that no one had heard of Klein or saw him play. Well, if you had any doubts in January about the trade, you will now have some peace of mind knowing that the Rangers won … at least for this season.
Since the trade, Del Zotto has played in 24 games for the Predators, posting one goal, four assists and is a -4. Klein, on the other hand, has played in 29 games with the Rangers with one goal, five assists and is a +4. Klein, the defensive defenseman, has the same number of goals with the Rangers as Del Zotto, the offensive defenseman — only Klein has one more assist and has a better plus/minus.
Not only that, but Klein has played in five more games with the Rangers than Del Zotto has with the Predators because Del Zotto has continued his struggles in Nashville, leading to more healthy scratches there.
For now, it is very safe to say the Rangers got the better end of this deal. Del Zotto will always have more upside than Klein, so if he ever does find his game, then things might change a bit; but until that happens — if it ever does — the Rangers can be very pleased with the results of the Del Zotto-Klein swap this season.
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