Capitals send Erat to Coyotes for Klesla, Brown

Tuesday, 03.04.2014 / 9:22 PM

The Washington Capitals on Tuesday traded forwards Martin Erat and John Mitchell to the Phoenix Coyotes for forward Chris Brown, defenseman Rostislav Klesla and a fourth-round pick at the 2015 NHL Draft.

The Capitals said Brown and Klesla will report to the Hershey Bears, the Capitals’ American Hockey League affiliate.

Brown played in six games with the Coyotes this season. He had no points and 17 penalty minutes. The 23-year-old had 14 goals, 35 points and 68 penalty minutes in 51 games with the Portland Pirates of the AHL. He was the Coyotes' second-round pick (No. 36) in the 2009 NHL Draft.

Klesla, a 14-year NHL veteran, had one goal and four points in 25 games with Phoenix this season. The 6-foot-3, 215-pound defenseman has 159 points in 659 NHL games; the 31-year-old played with the Columbus Blue Jackets from 2000-11, when he was traded to Phoenix.

Erat, who scored a career-high 23 goals in 2007-08 among eight seasons with double-digit goal totals with the Nashville Predators, had two goals in 62 games with Washington during the past two seasons. He had one goal and 24 points in 53 games with Washington this season. The Capitals acquired the 32-year-old right wing along with forward Michael Latta from the Predators in a trade last April that sent forward Filip Forsberg to Nashville.

Erat has 165 goals, 508 points and 452 penalty minutes in 785 NHL regular-season games with the Predators and the Capitals.

“We’ve been looking at Martin for a long, long time," Coyotes general manager Don Maloney said. "He was a terrific player in Nashville, went to Washington and it just didn’t work for him there. It reminds me a little of Radim Vrbata when he fit with us, he left us ([or Tampa Bay] and it didn’t work, he came back and has been a great player for us. We think Martin can thrive in our style, which is very similar to Nashville’s.

"We think he’s a good player and if we can get him back to the level we think he can get to, this is a good deal for us."

Mitchell, 27, had six points (three goals) in 20 games with Hershey this season.

The NHL Trade Deadline is 3 p.m. ET Wednesday.

Washington acquired forward Dustin Penner from the Anaheim Ducks earlier Tuesday in exchange for a fourth-round pick at the 2014 NHL Draft. Phoenix traded defenseman David Rundblad to the Chicago Blackhawks for a second-round pick in the 2014 draft.

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