After enduring a couple of rough seasons, Kris Russell has revitalized his career with Calgary and now he’s getting rewarded for it. The Flames announced that the 26-year-old defenseman has agreed to a two-year, $4.52 million contract extension.
The Flames acquired him from the St. Louis Blues in exchange for a fifth round pick in July. He was eligible to become an unrestricted free agent this summer.
Russell has been averaging 23:28 minutes per contest and is one of just four Flames’ players to have a plus/minus rating of neutral or better after participating in at least 40 games. He’s also reached the 20-point mark for the fourth time in his career and the first time since 2010-11.
With Russell locked up, Calgary now has five defenseman signed to one-way contracts for the 2014-15 campaign. The team still needs to decide what to do with 27-year-old blueliner Chris Butler, who is scheduled to become an unrestricted free agent this summer.
You probably know the drill: injury updates are murky in the NHL basically from the moment a puck drops.
We’ll learn more once the 2015-16 season begins, but at the moment, Saturday might have served as a costly night for the Tampa Bay Lightning. Both Tyler Johnson and Alex Killorn went down with injuries stemming from a 3-2 pre-season win against the Florida Panthers.
“Guys were dropping like flies,” Steven Stamkos told the Tamba Bay Times.
These could be minor situations – just about any ailment will sideline a key asset this time of year – yet one cannot help but wonder if the Lightning might limp into this campaign.
Nikita Kucherov is dealing with his own issues, so that means at least minor issues for one half of the Bolts’ top six forwards.
It’s believed that more will be known about these banged-up Bolts sometime on Sunday.
With knee issues still limiting him, Raffi Torres isn’t as mobile as he once was. Apparently he still moves well enough to leave the usual path of destruction.
It’s the pre-season, so it’s unclear if we’ll get a good look at the check, but Torres received a match penalty for his hit on Anaheim Ducks forward Jakob Silfverberg.
Most accounts were pretty critical of the San Jose Sharks’ chief troublemaker:
It’s too early to tell if Silfverberg is injured. If he is, that’s a significant loss for the Ducks, as he really showed signs of fulfilling his promise (especially during the 2015 playoffs).
As far as Torres goes, he’s hoping to play in the Sharks’ season-opener. Wherever he ends up, he’ll certainly make plenty of enemies on the ice.
Whether it was because of that hit or just the general distaste shared by those sides, it sounds like tonight’s Sharks – Ducks exhibition is getting ugly, in general:
This post will be updated if video of the hit becomes available, and also if we get a better idea of Silfverberg’s condition.
Update: Bullet dodged?