Predators might lean more on Kevin Klein in 2012-13

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The Predators have Shea Weber under contract through 2025-26, but that doesn’t change the fact that Ryan Suter left them this summer as an unrestricted free agent.

Fortunately, the Predators have a number of talented young blueliners in Roman Josi, Ryan Ellis, and Jonathon Blum.

Those three should end up being significant parts of the Predators’ defense, but in the short term, it might be Kevin Klein that ends up finishing second to only Weber in Predators’ playing time.

“You don’t really replace a guy like (Suter),” Klein said, according to The Tennessean. “But we’re going to step up and everyone is going to step up and do a little extra. You’re replacing 28 minutes a game.”

Suter ranked third in the NHL in terms of ice time per game and even bested Weber in that regard. No one player is likely to fill that void, but Klein should play a big role in the post-Suter era.