After a “will he/won’t he” debate, the New York Rangers bid a final farewell to defenseman Kevin Klein as he announced his retirement this morning.
Another one bites the dust, as Kevin Klein announced his retirement from the New York Rangers this morning. The Kitchener, Ontario native was selected in the 2nd round, 37th overall in the 2003 NHL Entry Draft by the Nashville Predators.
OFFICIAL: #NYR defenseman Kevin Klein announced his retirement from the NHL today.
Kleiner, together we thank and salute you! pic.twitter.com/rk6TbuhK6I
— New York Rangers (@NYRangers) July 7, 2017
Klein played in 12 NHL seasons, totaling 627 career NHL games between his time with the Nashville Predators and the New York Rangers.
The 32-year-old made his NHL debut for Nashville on December 3, 2005 against the Philadelphia Flyers. After almost a decade of service in Nashville, he was then traded to the Rangers on January 22, 2014 for Michael Del Zotto. Klein went on to play 224 games for the Blueshirts, registering 22 goals and 50 assists for 72 points with a plus-49 rating.
From the time he played his first game as a Ranger on January 23, 2014 through the end of the 2016-17 season, Klein led Rangers defensemen in even strength goals (22) and game-winning goals (eight).
Klein made the playoffs in each of the four seasons he donned the Rangers uniform. He tallied one goal and nine assists in 45 career playoff games with the Rangers as he helped them advance to the Stanley Cup Finals in 2014.
— CapFriendly (@CapFriendly) July 7, 2017
On a positive note, with Klein’s retirement, the Rangers will now save $2.9 million in cap space for the future.
Klein played a huge role in the Rangers organization and now is helping them in the future. Thank you, Kevin Klein, for your tireless efforts for the New York Rangers!