As trade speculation ramps up as the trade deadline barrels head-long towards us, TSN’s Darren Dreger had a very interesting scoop earlier this morning regarding one of the Calgary Flames most prominent trade chips.
Kris Russell was informed yesterday he is likely to be traded. No surprise. Very strong market. Pitt and Bos frontrunners. #TradeCentre
— Darren Dreger (@DarrenDreger) February 27, 2016
Russell’s a pending unrestricted free agent this summer and the general free agent market speculation is that he’s going to get well-compensated and receive a healthy boost from his current $2.6 million cap hit. With the Flames having already well-compensated defensemen by the names of Mark Giordano ($6.75 million), Dougie Hamilton ($5.75 million), T.J. Brodie ($4.65 million), Ladislav Smid ($3.5 million) and Deryk Engelland ($2.917 million), it’s unlikely that the Flames would be able to afford him.
Then there’s the entire “Is Kris Russell good enough for a big raise” debate, which we’ve already gotten into (and will once again when he’s moved).
Anyway, if this scoop is true – and I have few reasons to believe otherwise – it’s proof that Brad Treliving is more pragmatic than sentimental. It would also make it tremendously unlikely that Russell plays tonight against Ottawa.