The defenceman was front and centre for numerous trade rumours and had several teams kicking the tires. The Flames were looking for significant return for their puck-moving defenceman, but the market wasn’t exactly robust on Monday morning.
Still, Brian Burke stated that he was looking to move the 28-year-old from Alberta and that’s exactly what happened.
In 51 games this season, Russell has 15 points – including four goals. He logs an average of 22:52 per game and blocks shots like a machine.
Russell was drafted by the Columbus Blue Jackets 67th overall in the 2005 NHL Entry Draft. He has 173 points in 562 regular season games with the Flames, St. Louis Blues and Blue Jackets. His best offensive season has been in 2014-2015 when he posted 34 points in 79 games.
Russell is a good fit for the Stars, who’ve been getting by on their offensive prowess thus far and will definitely have use for his defensive capabilities come the post-season.
According to reports, Russell was asking for about $1.5 million per year more than what the Flames were willing to pay and the doors opened up to the market as a result. Calgary wasn’t prepared to part with the green, but that’s not to say they weren’t really high on their defenceman.
“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 general manager Brad Treliving said. “He’s the kind of guy you win with.”
Jokipakka is a 24-year-old defenceman from Finland. He was a seventh round draft pick for the Stars and he’s seen 91 games of NHL action, with 16 career points. He’s a sizable player at 6’3, 210 pounds, and he has solid defensive instincts. He won’t find himself on the scoreboard too often, but he’s good at playing a containment game.
Pollock was drafted by the Stars in the second round of the 2014 NHL Entry Draft. He’s capable of producing points and is a positionally-sound winger, even if he’s not the best skater. He’ll have to take some time to learn the NHL game, but the 19-year-old from Regina has some upside as a playmaker.
As for that conditional draft pick, it becomes a first round selection for the Flames if the Stars make the conference finals and if Russell plays in at least half of the games in the first two rounds. So there’s that.