As the hours roll on today, we get a bit more clarity on the direction of the Calgary Flames and the future of defender Kris Russell. Some comments by Flames president of hockey operations Brian Burke earlier today on Sportsnet 960 The Fan have seemingly made things a lot clearer.
“We have made a significant offer to keep him, but his agent and Rusty feel that you don’t get many chances to test the market. He thinks term-wise and money-wise he can do better, and we understand that. But that means it’s probably time to part ways. We owed Rusty a good-faith effort to sign him, but now moving forward, to fit him in with our defense and the players whose contracts are up would have to make financial sense. I don’t think we’ll be able to reach an agreement like that, so he’s likely on the move.”
Sounds like the defence market is partially on hold until decisions are made on Dan Hamhuis and Kris Russell. #TradeCentre
— Bruce Garrioch (@SunGarrioch) February 29, 2016
Russell is in the final year of his current contract and will likely command a hefty raise due to his status as a second-pairing defender that eats up a lot of ice-time. With the Flames in a tight salary cap situation going forward, this seems to be as close to “official” confirmation as we’ll get that #4 is out the door before 1pm MT today.