On this day in 2013, the Calgary Flames acquired defenceman Kris Russell

Photo credit:© Neville E. Guard-USA TODAY Sports
Aleena Aksenchuk
1 year ago
On this day in 2013, the Calgary Flames acquired tenacious defenceman Kris Russell from the St. Louis Blues in exchange for a fifth-round pick in 2015.
The blueliner grew up in the small town of Caroline, AB which made his return home to Alberta soil a great opportunity after playing five years for the Columbus Blue Jackets and another two years in St. Louis. When he arrived home, Russell showcased his exceptional defensive skills. He became a fan favourite in Cow Town for his relentless work ethic and determination on the ice.
In 2013-14, he made an immediate impact in his first season with the Flames, displaying his defensive prowess and earning a regular spot in the lineup. Russell’s ability to quickly read plays, block shots, and disrupt opponents’ scoring chances made him a key component of Calgary’s defensive corps.
One of Russell’s most notable attributes was his shot-blocking ability. He fearlessly threw himself in front of thundering slap shots without hesitation. His dedication to shot-blocking often left him bruised and battered.
During the 2014-2015 season, Russell achieved a remarkable goal that solidified his place in Flames’ history as the blueliner set an NHL record for the most blocked shots in a single season, registering 283 blocks. His remarkable shot-blocking ability was contributory in helping the Flames reach the playoffs that season. In his combined three years in Calgary, he’d thrown his body in front of 658 pucks.
Come 2015-16, the blueliner’s warrior-like mentality became a hot commodity on the trade market. GMs all over the league were looking for someone to add determination and selflessness to their defensive lines.
On February 29th, 2016, Russell’s time with the Flames ended when he was traded to the Dallas Stars for a second-round pick in 2016 (Dillon Dube), Jyrki Jokipakka, and Brett Pollock.
“It’s been incredible,” Russell expressed to the Calgary Herald’s Wes Gilbertson upon his departure.
“I grew up a Flames fan, so putting on that jersey meant a lot to me. Right from the owners to the management to the coaching staff to the players to the trainers, I’ve been treated world-class. Obviously, it’s sad to leave an organization like that, but I’m happy I got the opportunity to play for them.”
After leaving the Flames, Russell continued to have a successful career in the NHL. He spent one short year playing for the Dallas Stars before spending six years on the other end of Alberta with the Edmonton Oilers, where he’d hang up his skates in 2022.
Throughout his 15 years in the NHL, the defenceman scored 48 goals and 254 points with an incredible 2,044 blocked shots, just 34 behind Mark Giordano’s 2,078.
Jaedon Descheneau was the fifth-round pick the Flames traded to St. Louis to acquire Russell. Descheneau never dressed for an NHL game, deciding to take his career overseas, where last season, he played 18 games for Saimaan Pallo in the Finnish Elite League.

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