With four players over the age of 30 the New York Rangers’ defense is going to need a bit of an overhaul at some point in the very near future, and it might start in a rather unexpected way this summer.
He still has one year remaining on a contract that is set to pay him $2.9 million this season.
A veteran of 627 games in the NHL, Klein has spent the past three-and-a-half years as a member of the Rangers and played a significant role in their run to the 2014 Stanley Cup Final following a mid-season trade from the Nashville Predators. A back injury limited him to 60 games this past season. He then spent most of the playoffs as a healthy scratch, appearing in just a single game before the Rangers were eliminated by the Ottawa Senators in the second round.
If he retires the Rangers would gain nearly $3 million in cap space for next season, which they could certainly use as they attempt to rebuild their defense.
The Rangers’ defense has become a sore spot over the past two years due to their reliance on veterans (Dan Girardi, Marc Staal, Klein) that are starting to slow down and the lack of a true impact puck-moving presence anywhere on the blue line. As long as the defense is built in such a way it is going to put a ton of pressure on Henrik Lundqvist to be on top of his game for the team to have a chance to win. Even though he had another strong season, the 35-year-old Lundqvist did start to show some signs of slowing this season.