Five quietly indispensable NHL players

Kevin Klein's name doesn't generate as much attention as other Rangers defensemen, but he has been vital to holding their blue line together this season. Brian Babineau/NHLI via Getty Images

Already down Derek Stepan against the Carolina Hurricanes, the New York Rangers got a scare when Kevin Klein went down the tunnel after straining a muscle. The defenseman, who has quietly been one of New York’s best players this season, was ruled out for the game.

After the game, coach Alain Vigneault shared the news. It was a strained muscle in Klein's abdomen, according to the New York Daily News’ Pat Leonard. The Rangers would know more about the severity on Tuesday. Editor's note: This story posted before word emerged that Klein will miss two to three weeks due to a strained oblique.

Henrik Lundqvist is the Rangers' most indispensable player, no doubt. But many teams around the league have a player who isn’t the goalie, who isn’t the superstar, who has emerged as nearly irreplaceable. Klein just might be that guy with the Rangers.