Klein -- who retired from the NHL on July 7 -- signed with Swiss club ZSC Lions on Friday. Despite registering a mere 14 points last year, Klein will look to extend his professional career by suiting up overseas. While it seems unlikely, a solid season with the Lions could open the door for the 32-year-old to return to the NHL down the road -- although it would probably need to be a minimum-salary deal for a third-pairing assignment.
Klein, a defenseman who last played for the Rangers, announced his retirement from the NHL on Friday. A proficient shot blocker, Klein was more of a stay-at-home type over 12 years of service time split between the Predators and Rangers. Still, while donning the blue sweater, he managed 23 points (11 goals, 12 assists) in 94 games to complement a gaudy shooting percentage of 12.4 versus Metropolitan Division opponents. Hockey fans from the Big Apple will remember him as the guy who lost part of his left ear from a high stick in a 2014 contest against the Penguins; he had it sewn back on in time to put an overtime game-winning goal in the bag.
Klein is considering retiring from the NHL and continuing his career in Europe, the New York Post reports. After surprising with a pair of nine-goal, 26-point campaigns for the Rangers, Klein sagged to just 14 points over 60 games in an injury-shortened 2016-17, and he was a healthy scratch for all but one of the club's playoff games. No final decision has been made, but Klein reportedly had a going-away party this past weekend, so it seems likely that the physical blueliner will indeed retire. If he does, his NHL career will conclude with 38 goals and 154 total points in 627 games, with almost half those points coming in his 224 games as a Ranger.
Klein (back) is slated to return to the lineup Friday against the Penguins after missing Tuesday's game against the Sharks, the Rangers' official site reports. Per the report, Klein will be paired with Marc Staal in his return to action Friday. With 14 points and 31 PIM in 55 games to date, Klein's fantasy impact apart from blocks (112) and hits (128) has been modest, with the exception of his two-goal effort against the Avs on Feb. 11.
Klein will not suit up for Tuesday night's game in San Jose after feeling some tightness in his back following Sunday's contest in Anaheim. This pesky back injury has been hampering Klein for the better part of the season's second half, and it's unclear at this point how it will affect him going forward. Between the injury problems and his limited effectiveness on offense, he's not a recommended play for the fantasy playoffs. Dan Girardi will slot back into the lineup Tuesday in Klein's place.
Rank Among Leaders
Last 7 Games
|3 Year Avg||70||7||14||20||11||0||0||3||0||0||93.5|