On the day of the NHL Trade Deadline, the Phoenix Coyotes are once again an active player. According to multiple reports, the Yotes have traded Scottie Upshall and Sami Lepisto to the Columbus Blue Jackets for defenseman Rotislav Klesla and forward Dane Byers. Upshall is tied for the team-lead in goals (16). Klesla is considered to be a replacement for injured Phoenix blue line staple, Ed Jovanovski.
Phoenix Coyotes twitter-master, Paul Bissonnette has already weighed in on the trade and he doesn't seem pleased.
Twitter / @Paul Bissonnette: Faaaaaaaaaaaaaack. Officia ...
Faaaaaaaaaaaaaack. Officially no single guys besides me on the coyotes. @samilepisto to columbus. And my boy @ScottieUpshall 2. #FML
There is speculation that one advantage for the Coyotes in making the move is the relative contract status of the players involved. Both Phoenix skaters are restricted free agents after this season while Klesla is under contract through 2013-14.
For more Coyotes trade discussion, visit Five For Howling.
From the official Coyotes press release:
Klesla, 28, has recorded 3-7-10 and 26 penalty minutes (PIM) in 45 games this season for the Blue Jackets. He was fourth among Columbus defensemen in goals (3). In 515 career games, the Novy Jicin, Czech Republic native has recorded (41-92-133) and 508 PIM. Additionally, Klesla has appeared in four playoff games with the Blue Jackets, collecting an assist. Klesla was drafted by Columbus in the first-round (4th overall) in the 2000 Entry Draft.
Byers, 25, has recorded 12-22-34 and 120 penalty minutes (PIM) in 64 games this season with the Hartford Wolf Pack/Connecticut Whale and the Springfield Falcons. Byers has played in six career NHL games with the New York Rangers, posting one goal and 31 PIM. He was originally drafted by the Rangers in the second-round (48th overall) in the 2004 Entry Draft.