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Kevin Klein signs five-year extension with Preds

Saturday, 09.15.2012 / 3:02 PM / News

NHL.com

Defenseman Kevin Klein signed a five-year, $14.5 million extension with the Nashville Predators on Saturday that will keep him with the club through the 2017-18 season. The deal 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 in a statement. "I am excited about being a part of this organization and community well into the future."

Klein, 27, had career highs in assists (17) and points (21) in 66 games last season, while matching a career best with four goals. He led the team with 151 blocked shots, ranked third on the Predators in average ice time at 19:56 and was one of just two NHL defensemen to play more than 35 games and register four or fewer penalty minutes.

"Kevin Klein embodies the Predators way – the culture and belief system we have worked hard to create," GM David 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."

The Kitchener, Ont., native, a second-round pick (No. 37) by Nashville in the 2003 NHL Draft, has 65 points (12 goals, 53 assists) in 309 career regular-season games. He has three goals and six assists for nine points in 28 postseason games and was 2-2-4 in the 2012 Stanley Cup Playoffs.

It means a lot to us, we're very excited. We're looking to continue to build on [our] top core talent of young players. It's just a great opportunity for us to really build high.

— Panthers vice president of hockey operations Travis Viola after Florida won the No. 1 pick in the NHL Draft Lottery