Washington Capitals general manager George McPhee is a busy man these days. Tuesday morning he acquired LW Dustin Penner from the Anaheim Ducks, in the afternoon he shipped disgruntled winger Martin Erat, and minor leaguer John Mitchell, to the Phoenix Coyotes for veteran defenseman Rostislav Klesla, forward prospect Chris Brown and a fourth round draft pick in the 2015 draft.
From the press release on Brown:
Brown, 23, played in six games with the Coyotes this season, collecting 17 penalty minutes. In addition, he recorded 35 points (14 goals, 21 assists) and 68 penalty minutes in 51 games with the Portland Pirates of the American Hockey League (AHL). Last season, Brown led the Pirates and all AHL rookies in scoring (29 goals) and ranked tied for third in the AHL with 14 power-play goals. He also made his NHL debut.
During the 2011-12 season, Brown recorded 29 points (12 goals, 17 assists) and 66 penalty minutes in 38 games with University of Michigan (CCHA), setting career highs in assists, points and penalty minutes. Brown led all Michigan rookies in 2009-10 with 28 points (13 goals, 15 assists), and led the team with seven power-play goals in 45 games. He was also named to the CCHA All-Rookie Team. Brown registered 80 points (34 goals, 46 assists) and 183 penalty minutes in 125 regular season games during his three-year career with the Wolverines. The Flower Mound, Texas native was the first ever Michigan recruit from the state of Texas.
And info on Klesla:
Klesla, 31, collected four points (one goal, three assists) and 24 penalty minutes with the Coyotes this season. The native of Novy Jicin, Czech Republic, is a 14-year NHL veteran who has played for Columbus and Phoenix. The 6’3’’, 215-pound defenseman has appeared in 659 NHL games, recording 159 points (48 goals, 111 assists) and 620 penalty minutes. Additionally, Klesla has collected nine points (two goals, seven assists) and 11 penalty minutes in 23 career playoff games. Klesla was originally drafted by the Blue Jackets in the first round (fourth overall) in the 2000 NHL Draft.
Both players will report to AHL Hershey for the time being.
With Erat’s $4.5 million off the books for this year and next, McPhee now has some flexibility under the salary cap to address the blueline in a meaningful manner. Of course, every team in the league that considers itself a playoff caliber team would like to upgrade its defensive corps this time of year, but McPhee is a lot better off now to do it than he was a day ago.