One Kevin has arrived, and another has departed in New York.
Roughly a week after Kevin Shattenkirk, the consensus top available free agent this offseason, fled the nation’s capital for the Big Apple on a four-year deal with the New York Rangers, his new defensive teammate, Kevin Klein, has retired.
Originally a 2003 NHL Entry Draft selection of the Nashville Predators, Klein, 32, was traded to the Rangers in 2014 and spent the final three full seasons of his career in New York, making a name for himself as a game-winning specialist.
Famous for lacing an overtime-deciding shot past former Pittsburgh Penguins goalie Marc-Andre Fleury on the same night he lost part of his ear and needed 13 stitches, Klein had a career-best 26 points in each of his first two full campaigns with the Rangers. He had eight combined winning goals between the 2014-15 and 2015-16 seasons.
Larry Brooks of the New York Post reported in June that Klein was leaning toward retirement with an eye on continuing his hockey career in Europe. The veteran defenseman does have experience outside North America, briefly appearing with Denmark’s Metal Ligaen league during the 2012-13 NHL lockout.