Predators defenseman Kevin Klein may not exactly be the first guy you think of when it comes to Nashville hockey, but playing abroad in Denmark has made him a star there.
Joshua Cooper of The Tennessean spoke with Klein’s sister, Laura, and finds out he’s the biggest thing to happen to Denmark’s AL-Bank Ligaen Herlev Eagles maybe ever.
“They had pictures of him made so they could sell them, that he signed. He would always get interviewed after the game in front of the VIP people. There was this huge spray-painted sign saying, ‘Welcome Klein No. 18,’ and fans would chant his name,” Laura said. “He wasn’t given everything, but the fans supported him to the fullest, not even knowing who he was. They just knew he was (an NHL) hockey player.”
His performance in the playoffs last year helped earn him a five-year, $14.5 million extension from the team.
In Denmark, his points are normal (a goal and two assists in eight games) but his penalty minutes have skyrocketed with 29 (he had just four all last season). Sticking up for your teammates will do that.
Maybe playing in a small league elsewhere does have its perks when you’re not an NHL superstar.