Flames Re-Sign Kris Russell


                                                             pic via: Zimbio

The Calgary Flames announced today that they have signed Kris Russell to a 2 year extension at an annual average of $2.6 million dollars. The 26 year old Red Deer native was acquired from St. Louis in the off season in exchange for a 5th Round Pick in the 2014 NHL Draft and is currently on an expiring one year, $1.5 million dollar deal.

Russell has emerged as a key cog on the Flames blueline this season, logging big minutes in all situations and is tied for second in scoring among defenseman on the team with four goals and 20 points in 44 games. The deal keeps Russell a Flame through the 2015/2016 season.

The Flames also announce they’ve returned Joni Ortio and Chris Breen to the Abbotsford Heat for some playing time during the Olympic break. Ortio’s return to the NHL at the completion of the Games will be contingent on the health of the injured Karri Ramo. 

  • BurningSensation

    Russell was just a super-smart gamble by Feaster. Nice to see it paying off, and that Burke, despite his fetish for size, recognizes the contributions Russell brings.

  • Howie Meeker

    Excellent deal, short term and low cap hit. I’ve liked Russell since he arrived here, he’s come from a winning culture in St. Louis. These bridge contracts are going to help the Flames in terms of flexibility down the road when they want/are ready to spending during free agency. We need talented young players on this team.

  • beloch

    I like the length of this contract because Russel probably isn’t a guy the Flames want on their second pairing in a few years.

    Only Wideman gets cushier zone-starts and Russel’s QoC is firmly middle-of-the-pack. His possession stats are similar to Wideman’s, which is to say not very good. Brodie and Giordano are the only two defenders with better possession, but there’s a very large gap, plus they’re doing it while playing shut-down minutes. The real surprise has been Russels offensive output. In terms of points/TOI, only Wideman and Giordano are currently ahead of him (Again, Giordano is doing this in much more difficult circumstances). I have a feeling Brodie is going to develop a lot more offense in the near future though.

    To sum up, Russel isn’t a very good 2nd pairing D. He’s been playing very similar to Wideman and would be a nice third-pairing/power-play option. At just half the cap-hit of Wideman, he’s giving the team good value. This is a contract that won’t stand out if Burke is successful in shoring up the Flames blue-line and Russel does wind up on the third pairing.

    This is a good example of paying a player in proportion to his ability rather than in proportion to the position he’s currently filling.

    • MattyFranchise

      Agreed, this is a great deal for a 5/6 D. If the Flames can get some more help on defense I like Smid and Russell over any 5/6 option they have right now. Find another second pairing defenseman to play with Wideman and I think the team will have a pretty respectable D corps.

  • supra steve

    How could that happen? I’ve been hearing the only players that Burke would be signing would be 6’4″ & 220lb or better with meat hammers for hands. Now I’m just confused. This is KRIS Russell we’re talking about, right?

    Now that’s out of the way. I agree, nice job by Burkie, and good to have you stay a while Kris.

      • RedMan

        Roy wins another game for the Heat as they win 3-2 in a shoot out and indeeed Sven gets the the shoot out winner. With Ortio and Breen(?) being sent back down the Heat will even be better, If Ramo’s knee does not get better over the olympic break we will see Ortio agan after the break. On another thread some one mentioned that they thought we should not resign Street, BJones and a few other of the bridge players and at the time I was going to reply but did. We need to have those type of players during the rebuild as it provides leadership at the AHL level and also allows prospects more time to develop at the AHL. This year instead of rushing the likes of Granlund and say Wootherspoon we saw the bridge players; it would not have hurt Granlunds’ development if he saw or sees a few NHL games this year but if he had been expected to play 20/25 games it would have hurt his develoment.

        A few ideas for topics during the Olympic break:
        a more in depth look at the Heat would be nice(ie who has been playing with who, look at our CHL prospects and their teams and where they stand in the CHL and a discussion of how ready they are, same with the NCAA guys, discuss the Flames needs and realistic options in the Free Agent market and of course the Olympic hockey tournament.