In what general manager Scott Howson called a “pretty quiet day,” the Blue Jackets completed two trades before Monday’s 3 p.m. trade deadline.
The Jackets acquired forward Scottie Upshall and defenseman Sami Lepisto from the Phoenix Coyotes in exchange for the last remaining original Blue Jacket, defenseman Rostislav Klesla and forward Dane Byers.
“I thought it was a good deal,” Jackets captain Rick Nash said. “It’s tough to see Rusty (Klesla) go. He’s a guy that’s been here since day one and he became a good friend and a big part of this organization, but it’s exciting to see the new guys come in as well.”
Klesla, the Jackets’ fourth overall pick in the 2000 NHL Entry Draft, and the organization’s first-ever draft pick, accumulated 133 points in his 515 games as a Jacket.
Upshall, who had 16 goals and 11 assists this season with the Coyotes, will look to help out the Jackets’ banged-up forward lines Jackets left winger R.J. Umberger played with Upshall earlier in his career in Philadelphia and said he is excited to have Upshall as a teammate again.
“Scottie is gonna be a great person here; the fans are gonna love him,” Umberger said. “He’s a very contagious player, his attitude, the way he plays. He’s emotional out there, and he’s fun to play with.”
Howson said Upshall should bring the Jackets some important elements.
“We hope he’s gonna give us an offensive jolt,” Howson said. “He’s got speed, he’s got tenacity and he’s got some experience.”
Jackets coach Scott Arniel said Lepisto is a “bigger version” of Klesla and is a great skater. Lepisto had 11 points and 37 penalty minutes this season for the Coyotes.
“He’s got great mobility,” Arniel said. “He’s a bigger body, a guy that really shoots the puck well and can play on a lot of offensive situations.”
The Jackets also completed a trade late in the day that sent left winger Tom Sestito to the Philadelphia Flyers for center Greg Moore and prospect Michael Chaput.
Moore had seven goals and 13 assists with the Flyers’ minor league affiliate, the Adirondack Phantoms. Chaput, an 18-year-old and Philadelphia’s third-round pick in the 2010 NHL entry draft, is playing in the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League and has 22 goals and 33 assists this season.