It seems like there is less trading than ever taking place in the NHL. The league sees very little movement with the exception of the few days leading up to the trade deadline. Despite the lack of trades, there are still tons of trade rumors and potential deals going around the league.
One name that I have seen surface in the past couple days is New York Rangers defenseman Kevin Klein. This is an interesting rumor because the Rangers are thought of by many as a team looking to add defense, not subtract it. Defensemen are a hot commodity in the NHL these days, and just about every team wants to add a defenseman. That's why it is so tough to get one, no one wants to give one up. I have no idea why the Rangers would want to give up Klein, unless they get a great player in return. Klein is not having a great season, but he hasn't been horrible either. He's a solid defensive defenseman who has 10 points and is +5 on the season. Any deal involving Klein would have to bring a star player back to New York.
One potential trade partner is the Toronto Maple Leafs, who are actively looking to improve their defense. Toronto is right on the edge of the playoffs, and adding a defenseman could be the piece they need to make the playoffs. It's no secret they have a high powered offense with a ton of young stars, but their defense is not nearly as good. Adding a veteran defenseman could do wonders for this team, and Klein might just be the guy.
For Klein to go to Toronto, obviously something good is going to have to go the other way. New York is not going to just give Klein away. The most obvious and most likely name is James van Riemsdyk. JVR is an older player, 27, on a team with plenty of offense from younger players. He has a relatively low cap hit at $4.75 million and has 33 points on the season. If any deal were to get done between these teams, JVR would probably be the Leaf heading to New York. The Rangers would have to throw a forward in because Klein for JVR straight up would be a steal for New York. Oscar Lindberg or Jesper Fast would probably go with Klein to Toronto.
Obviously this is all just rumor, but given the statuses of both teams, a trade like this is a possibility. If a trade were to get done, it likely won't be any time soon, but around the trade deadline. I wish there was more trading the NHL and I wish teams would make moves before the deadline, but that's just not the case. The salary cap has made trades difficult to work out money wise, and every team seems to wait until right before the deadline to do something. We'll have to see if anything actually happens, but Kevin Klein is a name that has surfaced in trade rumors.