Less than twelve hours before NHL owners plan to lock out the players, the Nashville Predators signed defenseman Kevin Klein to a cap friendly five-year, $14.5 million contract that solidifies another piece of the Preds' blueline for the next six seasons.
Klein is entering the final year of a three year contract that has paid him $1.35 million a year and the new deal will run through the 2017-18 season. Here is the full release from the Predators...
NASHVILLE PREDATORS SIGN KLEIN TO A FIVE-YEAR CONTRACT
Nashville, Tenn. (September 15, 2012) – Nashville Predators President of Hockey Operations/General Manager David Poile announced today that the club has signed defenseman Kevin Klein to a five-year, $14.5 million contract that will pay him $3 million in 2013-14, 2014-15 and 2015-16, and $2.75 million in 2016-17 and 2017-18.
“My family and I love Nashville; the fans, my teammates and the city have been very good to us,” Klein said. “I am excited about being a part of this organization and community well into the future.”
“Kevin Klein embodies the Predators way – the culture and belief system we have worked hard to create,” Poile said. “He was drafted and developed by the team, has become an integral part of our defensive corps, and is committed to being a part of our long-term success.”
Klein, 27 (12/13/84), recorded career highs in points (4g-17a-21pts) and assists, while tying a career high in goals in 2011-12. He also tied for 24th in the League, and led the Predators, in blocked shots (151); ranked third on the team in average ice time (19:56) and was one of just two NHL defensemen to play more than 35 games and register four or fewer penalty minutes during his fourth full NHL campaign a season ago. The Kitchener, Ont., native has 65 points (12g-53a) in 309 career regular-season games and nine points (3g-6a) in 28 postseason contests, which included four points (2g-2a) during the 2012 postseason, tying him for first among club blueliners.
Nashville’s third selection, 37th overall (second round), in the 2003 Entry Draft held at Nashville’s Bridgestone Arena, Klein captured a silver medal with Team Canada at the 2004 World Junior Championships in addition to winning the 2004 Ontario Hockey League championship as a member of the Guelph Storm.
Buddy Oakes for PredsOntheGlass