About Michael Caples

Michael Caples was born just minutes outside of Detroit and the Canadian border, into a family that introduced him to hockey the day he was born.

By the age of three, Michael could recite every NHL club, where they were from, and the primary colors in each jersey. He has worked for the Red Wings’ official website since 2008 and has contributed articles for LAKings.com, Michigan Hockey, and various other sports publications.

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Central
Written by Michael Caples   
Thursday, 03 March 2011 03:31

Columbus isn't giving up on this season but St. Louis is, despite sitting four points behind the Blue Jackets in the standings. Will the trade deadline shake things up in the Central?

Michael Caples The five Central Division teams took different approaches to Monday’s trade deadline, with each general manager making a significant statement about how he feels about his roster.

Columbus Blue Jackets GM Scott Howson was the most active player on deadline day. The Jackets sent Rostislav Klesla – the first draft pick in franchise history – to the Coyotes (along with forward Dane Byers) for forward Scottie Upshall and defenseman Sami Lepisto.

AROUND THE CENTRAL
Klesla played in parts of 10 seasons with the Jackets, and arguably never lived up to his potential after being drafted fourth overall in 2000. The Czech Republic native was a minus player, albeit on mostly poor teams, in seven of those seasons.

In Upshall, the Jackets get another player trying to live up to the hype of a high draft pick. The sixth overall selection in 2002, Upshall has never posted more than 32 points in a season. Columbus will be his fourth home in the NHL after struggling in Nashville, Philadelphia and Phoenix. Lepisto can help fill the void of Kesla’s absence on the Columbus blue line. He was a plus-14 last year, his first full season in the NHL.

At least the Jackets, who are five points out of the final playoff spot in the Western Conference, seem like they’re trying to improve right now.

The Blues sit only four points behind Columbus but continued to unload, sending forward Brad Winchester to Anaheim for a third-round pick in the 2012 draft. While their most notable loss in February was Erik Johnson last week, the Blues have also shipped out Jay McClement, Brad Boyes, and a first-round pick. St. Louis is looking toward the future, not the present, with these deals.

Chicago added forward Michael Frolik and defenseman Chris Campoli, a pair of depth moves as the Blackhawks continue to push for a playoff spot. Frolik, 23, posted 21 goals in back-to-back seasons with Florida, while Campoli is a solid defenseman with offensive potential (34 points in 2005-06). The Blackhawks’ most notable loss was highly-touted prospect Jack Skille, who was dealt to Florida for Frolik.

Nashville and Detroit were both quiet at the deadline. The Predators made their splash a few weeks prior, when they acquired Mike Fisher from the Senators. Fisher has four points in his first nine games with the Predators.

Red Wings general manager Ken Holland not surprisingly stood pat, only signing starting goaltender Jimmy Howard to a two-year extension. The Red Wings have not made a single trade since the beginning of the season, becoming the first team to do so since 1958-59 according to CBC Radio.

Notes

The Blackhawks have won five straight to reach seventh place in the Western Conference. … Meanwhile, Nashville has dropped to ninth place, after posting a 4-4-2 record in their last 10 games. … Mike Modano is back for the Wings, and recorded an assist in his second game back Monday against the Kings. … Columbus is 6-2-2 in its last 10, yet still sits five points out of a playoff spot. … The Blues put forward Vladimir Sobotka on injured reserve after a foot injury during their 1-0 loss to Calgary on Sunday.

Photos by Getty Images

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Last Updated on Thursday, 03 March 2011 03:42