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Phoenix Sends Upshall, Lepisto To Columbus For Klesla

The Phoenix Coyotes have sent fan favorite forward Scottie Upshall and defenseman Sami Lepisto to the Columbus Blue Jackets in exchange for defenseman Rostislav Klesla.

In this deal, the two clubs swap defensemen while Columbus acquires some offensive depth in Upshall. The contracts are essentially a cap-neutral trade, as both sides of the transaction total around $3 million, though Phoenix acquires three more full seasons of Klesla.

This trade still leaves open the possibility of Colorado Avalanche defenseman John-Michael Liles to the Columbus Blue Jackets, as rumored. Lepisto doesn’t have the offensive upside that Liles possesses, and the Blue Jackets have plenty of cap space to acquire the $4.2 million contract Liles is owed this year and in 2011-2012.