Predators reward D Klein with 5-year deal

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The Nashville Predators signed defenseman Kevin Klein to a five-year contract on Saturday worth $14.5 million.

The 27-year-old rearguard will receive $3 million during each of the first three years of the pact and $2.75 million for the final two seasons.

"Kevin Klein embodies the Predators way -- the culture and belief system we have worked hard to create," Nashville general manager 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."

Klein posted a career-high 21 points in 66 games for the Preds in 2011-12, adding two goals and two assists in 10 postseason appearances. He also topped the club with 151 blocked shots.

Over parts of seven seasons with Nashville, the Ontario native has compiled 12 goals and 65 points in 309 contests.

"My family and I love Nashville; the fans, my teammates and the city have been very good to us," Klein said. "I am excited about being a part of this organization and community well into the future."

Also on Saturday, the Preds signed forward Craig Smith to a two-year deal worth $4 million.

The 23-year-old picked up 14 goals and 36 points in 72 games during his rookie campaign.