Columbus trades Rostislav Klesla to Phoenix for Scottie Upshall and Sami Lepisto

Finally some intrigue on deadline day as Columbus deals lifetime and last original Blue Jacket defenseman Rostislav Klesla to Phoenix for forward Scottie Upshall and defenseman Sami Lepisto. (Source)

Columbus gets a pair of guys that will plug in instantly and give them depth at forward in Upshall and more offensive skill along the blue line in Lepisto. Columbus also gets roster flexibility after the season as Upshall will be an unrestricted free agent after the season and Lepisto will be a restricted free agent.

For Phoenix, they add a defensively tough blue liner in Klesla. Klesla’s bugaboo over his career has been his health as injuries have always nagged at him. Klesla is locked up for three more years at nearly $3 million a year. At three goals and seven assists, Klesla isn’t a point getter but he’ll make the Coyotes defense stronger.

The odd twist in this deal is that Scottie Upshall just last night took to Twitter to say how much he loved playing hockey in Phoenix and about how much the area deserves the team and that prospective owner Matthew Hulsizer is the right guy for the team. Now he’s on his way out of town. Did Upshall have the sense he was going to be dealt or is this just some brutal timing on everyone’s part? Either way, it looks and feels awkward all around. Now Upshall will look to do what he can to help the Jackets get in the playoffs.

Lucic: If I wanted to hurt Couture, ‘I would have hurt him’


Last night in Los Angeles, Kings forward Milan Lucic received a match penalty after skating the entire width of the ice to give San Jose’s Logan Couture a two-hand shove to the face.

Lucic didn’t hurt Couture, who had caught Lucic with an open-ice hit that Lucic didn’t like. Couture’s smiling, mocking face was good evidence that the Sharks’ forward was going to be OK.

This morning, Lucic was still in disbelief that he was penalized so harshly.

“I didn’t cross any line,” Lucic said, per Rich Hammond of the O.C. Register. “Believe me, if my intentions were to hurt him, I would have hurt him.”

While Lucic knew he deserved a penalty, he said after the game that he didn’t “know why it was called a match penalty.” His coach, Darryl Sutter, agreed, calling it “a borderline even roughing penalty.”

And though former NHL referee Kerry Fraser believes a match penalty was indeed warranted, Lucic said this morning that he hasn’t heard from the NHL about any possible supplemental discipline.

Nor for that matter has Dustin Brown, after his high hit on Couture in the first period.

In conclusion, it’s good to have hockey back.

Related: Sutter says Kings weren’t ‘interested’ in checking the Sharks

Torres apologizes to Silfverberg and Sharks


A statement from Raffi Torres:

“I accept the 41-game suspension handed down to me by the NHL’s Department of Player Safety. I worked extremely hard over the last two years following reconstructive knee surgery to resume my NHL career, and this is the last thing I wanted to happen. I am disappointed I have put myself in a position to be suspended again. I sincerely apologize to Jakob for the hit that led to this suspension, and I’m extremely thankful that he wasn’t seriously injured as a result of the play. I also want to apologize to my Sharks teammates and the organization.”

A statement from San Jose GM Doug Wilson:

“The Sharks organization fully supports the NHL’s supplementary discipline decision regarding Raffi. While we do not believe there was any malicious intent, this type of hit is unacceptable and has no place in our game. There is a difference between playing hard and crossing the line and there is no doubt, in this instance, Raffi crossed that line. We’re very thankful that Jakob was not seriously injured as a result of this play.”

Silfverberg says he expects to play Saturday when the Ducks open their regular season Saturday in San Jose.