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Klesla won't join Sabres after trade: report

Saturday, 03.08.2014 / 8:00 PM / News

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Klesla won't join Sabres after trade: report
Veteran defenseman Rostislav Klesla says he won't join the Buffalo Sabres and will instead sit out the rest of the season before playing in Europe.

Defenseman Rostislav Klesla said Saturday he will not join the Buffalo Sabres, who acquired him in a trade with the Washington Capitals on Wednesday.

The trade, which also sent goaltender Michal Neuvirth to Buffalo and goaltender Jaroslav Halak and a draft pick to Washington, came one day after the Capitals had acquired Klesla from the Phoenix Coyotes. Klesla had been scheduled report to the Rochester Americans, the Sabres' American Hockey League affiliate.

"With all due respect to the Sabres organization, I decided this week not to continue playing hockey this season. It has been a tough year for injury and moving several times to new teams," the 31-year-old defenseman said in a statement reported by TSN.

"I will now take some time off and get ready to continue my career in Europe. I would like to thank my fans and all the people that have helped me. I am grateful for the career I have had in the NHL and all the people that I have met along the way who have supported me and my family."

Klesla had one goal and three assists with a minus-3 rating in 25 games with the Coyotes this season. He has 48 goals and 111 assists in 659 career games with the Coyotes and Columbus Blue Jackets, who selected him in the first round (No. 4) of the 2000 NHL Draft.

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The groove of being behind a bench is going to be interesting at first, but thank God we have a few exhibition games to get rid of those cobwebs. Overall the excitement of it all and the freshness and coming back refreshed, all those things are going to be assets. If [the players] come ready to give their best effort in practice and games, good things are going to happen. I'm always looking for results. It's not always on the scoreboard. It's winning and building something.

— Bryan Trottier on making his return to coaching as an assistant with the Sabres