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Report: Rangers’ Klein considering retirement

New York Rangers v Montreal Canadiens

MONTREAL, QC - OCTOBER 15: Kevin Klein #8 of the New York Rangers skates with the puck during the NHL game against the Montreal Canadiens at the Bell Centre on October 15, 2015 in Montreal, Quebec, Canada. The Canadiens defeated the Rangers 3-0 and for the first time in franchise history, the Canadiens have won five games in a row to start the season. (Photo by Minas Panagiotakis/Getty Images)

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With four players over the age of 30 the New York Rangers’ defense is going to need a bit of an overhaul at some point in the very near future, and it might start in a rather unexpected way this summer.

According to a report from the New York Post, veteran defenseman Kevin Klein is considering retirement from the NHL and could look to continue his playing career in Europe next season.

He still has one year remaining on a contract that is set to pay him $2.9 million this season.

A veteran of 627 games in the NHL, Klein has spent the past three-and-a-half years as a member of the Rangers and played a significant role in their run to the 2014 Stanley Cup Final following a mid-season trade from the Nashville Predators. A back injury limited him to 60 games this past season. He then spent most of the playoffs as a healthy scratch, appearing in just a single game before the Rangers were eliminated by the Ottawa Senators in the second round.

If he retires the Rangers would gain nearly $3 million in cap space for next season, which they could certainly use as they attempt to rebuild their defense.

The Rangers’ defense has become a sore spot over the past two years due to their reliance on veterans (Dan Girardi, Marc Staal, Klein) that are starting to slow down and the lack of a true impact puck-moving presence anywhere on the blue line. As long as the defense is built in such a way it is going to put a ton of pressure on Henrik Lundqvist to be on top of his game for the team to have a chance to win. Even though he had another strong season, the 35-year-old Lundqvist did start to show some signs of slowing this season.