It didn’t take very long for fireworks to go off during free agent frenzy on Friday, but there’s still a number of free agents available, including Kris Russell.
Reports surfaced late yesterday afternoon saying that Russell had signed a long-term deal with the Toronto Maple Leafs. Minutes later, Russell’s agent cleared the air on Twitter by saying that the report was false.
It sounds like the Maple Leafs are definitely in on Russell, but so are a few other teams. According to Sportsnet, the Montreal Canadiens and Vancouver Canucks are also in on the bidding for Russell.
The 29-year-old had a fantastic 2014-15 season with the Calgary Flames. He scored four goals, 34 points and had a plus-18 rating while averaging 23:56 of ice time in 79 games. Last season, those numbers came way down. Russell was traded to the Dallas Stars at the trade deadline. He finished with four goals, 19 points and a minus-5 rating in 62 games.
There’s been some conflicting reports on Vancouver’s interest:
Having Russell signed for $5 million per year through his age 35 season sounds pretty steep, but that’s the reality of free agency.