Monday, February 28, 2011

Klesla for Upshall and Lepisto

2011 Season2011Remaining
To Phoenix
PositionAgeGPGAPCap HitYearsCap Hit
Rostislav KleslaDefense29453710$2.98 million3Same
Dane ByersForward250000$500,0000RFA
To Columbus
PositionAgeGPGAPCap HitYearsCap Hit
Scottie UpshallForward2761161127$2.25 million0UFA
Sami LepistoDefense26514711$800,0000RFA

The Phoenix Coyotes added a little bit of size to their blueline with the acquisition of Rostislav Klesla and he should be able to give the desert dogs some more stability with some injuries going on at the moment.  The Blue Jackets get a little bit younger and add a bit more offensive pop with the acquisition of Scottie Upshall.  Both sides should actually benefit well from this deal, but neither team gets put over the top with where it's going.

In Klesla, the Coyotes get a rugged defenseman who hasn't developed into the offensive force that his 1st round selection may have projected him to be, but he can be a very valuable player in tough games and in good systems.  He may be able to help anchor some of the more mobile defensemen on the team and provide some veteran teachings to some of the youth.

The Blue Jackets get a couple of players that can help their team today in Upshall, a speedy winger with decent touch, but has some injury concerns, and Sami Lepisto, a medium-sized Finnish defenseman that skates fairly well and does have some offensive upside, albeit limited.

Salary CapBoth Columbus and Phoenix are in the bottom half of league scoring and the cap hits going either way are kind of a wash, so there are no cap concerns there.  For Phoenix, they get an extra three seasons out of Klesla, which has some potential to go either way, good or bad, depending on how well he blends with the team.  For the 2012 season, I have the Coyotes now with 12 players signed on for only $24.9 million, so they are poised to be a flexible team this Summer.

ImplicationsNot much play here in either pool.  Klesla is the only one of the three players that are available between the two pools and he may figure into the playoff pool as well before it's all said and done.  I don't think this trade will raise Klesla's value enough to get picked up, but if he plays well, it is an audition for the Spring Dance.

Link to the Injury/News Page

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