Oilers bolster defense with Kris Russell signing


Update: The Edmonton Oilers confirmed that Kris Russell was signed for one year. The financial terms were not disclosed.


It looks like Kris Russell is headed back to Alberta.

After years playing for the Calgary Flames (and then a brief stop in Dallas), the defenseman is expected to sign a one-year, $3.1 million contract with the Edmonton Oilers, according to Sportsnet’s Elliotte Friedman.

Friedman reports that the Oilers might not make the move official until Saturday or later.

If this goes through, it would complete today’s actions, as Edmonton would essentially be trading Nail Yakupov (who was shipped to the Blues) for Russell. ESPN’s Pierre LeBrun notes that the Oilers didn’t retain any of Yakupov’s $2.5 million, so that money could essentially go to Russell.

Then again, it might actually go into signing Kris Versteeg and/or Eric Gryba from their PTOs, according to the Edmonton Journal’s Jim Matheson.

To some, the Oilers essentially moved Taylor Hall and Nail Yakupov out of town for Adam Larsson and Kris Russell.

Of course, Edmonton also added Jesse Puljujärvi and Milan Lucic to the mix, along with possibly those veteran PTOs, so such a viewpoint might be too simplistic.

Many really will look at it that way, however, and the bottom line is that it will be really interesting to see how things shake out for everyone involved, including Russell.