Coyotes veteran defenseman Rusty Klesla cleared waivers Wednesday morning and will be assigned to the team's American Hockey League affiliate.

"It's more of him getting more minutes and playing more games, get his quickness and pace and confidence back where it needs to be, and then he'll be back playing for us," General Manager Don Maloney said. "Whether that's a weekend or a week or two weeks or the rest of the year, I can't say right now. So that's the plan. We think he can help us at some point here, but we need to be better and he needs to be better."

The Coyotes have also placed winger Lauri Korpikoski, who's out with an upper-body injury, on injured reserve and recalled defenseman Connor Murphy and winger Chris Brown.
Murphy will play tonight against the Minnesota Wild, while Brown is a possibility.

Klesla was a healthy scratch Nov.16 against the Tampa Bay Lightning after he was minus-3 the game before against the Chicago Blackhawks despite playing in a team-high 36 shifts (24:41). Maloney said Klesla has given "no indication" that he won't accept this assignment. He'll fly back with the team to the Valley tonight, enjoy Thanksgiving and then be on a plane to Portland on Friday.

"The reality is it's part of the business," Maloney said. "Rusty's a pro. He's a good pro. We sat him as a healthy scratch and didn't whine and complain. He worked hard. When I talked to him yesterday, he understood. To me, Rusty's still a young player in the league. He has many years ahead of him."