Let's get this out of the way; Yes, Kevin Klein had a career year putting up 9-17-26. Yes, Klein shot 11.2% this year by far his career high. These two facts do not, in and of themselves, mean that Kevin Klein had a standout year.
Kevin Klein started the season hot out of the box. Scoring a goal or making a big play seemingly every night for the first few months of the season. With Dan Boyle going down with a broken hand a period and a half into the season, Klein was placed into a heightened role among the top four of Rangers defensemen.
From opening day, October 9th, to the All Star Game, January 25th, Kevin Klein put up 17 of his 26 points (65.5%) while only putting up 9 points in the final three months of the season that he played (he missed the last few games of season after suffering a broken arm thanks to an Alex Ovechkin slap shot). As Klein shooting began to cool off, it began to expose the fact that Klein was a bottom pairing defenseman at best as he continued to put up sub 50% possession games.
As the Rangers rolled through the early stages of the playoffs with Matt Hunwick slotted into Klein's spot it was clear that Klein wasn't as vital as it appeared. Along with the addition of Raphael Diaz and the oncoming Brady Skjei, Klein's roster spot could very well be in jeopardy next season.
That's not to say that Klein didn't have any highlights this season, because he did blast home this great OT clapper against the Penguins.
Offense: This was the big story of Klein's season but it faded in the 2nd half and hurt Klein's production. Final Grade: C+
Defense: Kevin Klein is an average to slightly below average bottom pairing defenseman who is getting up in age with younger, better options nipping at his heels. Final Grade: D
Final Grade: If Klein were 5 or 6 years younger I would be much higher on his past season than I am. But I know better and Klein is going into his 30s and has never put up anything close to the offensive production he did last year. He's slowing down and there are better options on the roster. Final Grade: C-