Kris Russell traveled with the Calgary Flames to Philadelphia for Monday’s game versus the Flyers despite the swirl of trade rumours around him, and the Flames brass spoke highly of the defenceman on radio and television Monday morning.
“We love Kris Russell. He’s a classic Flame, a classic Alberta kid. His dad was a bullfighter, for God’s sake,” Calgary president Brian Burke told Sportsnet 960 The Fan.
“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.”
Burke on @FAn960 on Kris Russell interest: "Offers are already better today than they were last night."
— Eric Francis (@EricFrancis) February 29, 2016
Stars general manager Jim Nill would like to upgrade his blue line prior to Monday’s deadline. Russell and Vancouver’s Dan Hamhuis are the most highly rated stay-at-home D-men available on the rental market.
The Dallas Stars are considered to be a Stanley Cup contender this season but the club has been carried by their offence. The Stars surrender 2.84 goals per game, ranking their defence 23rd overall.
Sportsnet’s Roger Millions reports that Nill has “significant interest” in Russell, who is available for trade. Andy Strickland reports that the Stars and Boston Bruins are trying to land him.
#Flames Kris Russell has travelled with the team to Philly. Hearing Dallas latest team to show significant interest if Flames move him
— Roger Millions (@RogMillions) February 28, 2016
Hearing #Flames ask on Kris Russell presently a high pick and prospect. Too rich for LA at present.
— Dennis Bernstein (@DennisTFP) February 27, 2016
An unrestricted free agent on July 1, Russell is asking for $1.5 million more per season on a contract extension than the Flames are willing to pay, according to Sportsnet’s Eric Francis.
“We think the world of Kris. I can’t say enough good things about him. He’s a warrior. He competes so hard. He’s a great teammate,” Flames GM Brad Treliving told Hockey Central Monday morning.
“He’s the kind of guy you win with.”
Burke: "The key today is to not get left at the altar. You don't want to drive too hard a bargain and get left standing there." #Flames
— Boomer & Rhett (@BoomerAndRhett) February 29, 2016
Russell has 15 points in 51 games and is a minus-4 player for Calgary this season. He ranked No. 9 on Sportsnet’s list of available players heading into the deadline.
"I’m taking it as I’m playing until I hear different. That’s the way I’m going with it." – Kris Russell pic.twitter.com/ZOWXmf5yMt
— Calgary Flames (@NHLFlames) February 29, 2016
If a team is looking to trade for Kris Russell and eventually sign him, look at Jeff Petry's 6-year, $33 million deal as a comparable.
— Craig Custance (@CraigCustance) February 29, 2016