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What Should The Calgary Flames Do With Kris Russell?

from Jonathan Willis of Sportsnet,

He’s enjoyed the two best offensive seasons of his career in Southern Alberta, and he’s been employed not just as a depth piece but as a minute-munching mainstay on Calgary’s blue line.

Now he’s a pending unrestricted free agent, one the Flames may or may not be able to afford thanks to his newfound status.

From an analytics perspective, however, the question isn’t so much whether or not Calgary can afford him. It’s if the Flames should even want to keep him in the fold.

Despite his improved reputation Russell hasn’t actually changed so much from that player who cleared waivers so convincingly. He plays top-four minutes but on merit he’s not really a top-four NHL defenceman. That’s an unpleasant statement, but it’s one born from facts.

Russell plays in all situations for the Flames. He is a regular on both the power play and the penalty kill, but where he logs the most minutes is at five-on-five.

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Filed in: NHL Teams, Calgary Flames, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: kris+russell

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Paul Kukla founded Kukla’s Korner in 2005 and the site has since become the must-read site on the ‘net for all the latest happenings around the NHL.

From breaking news to in-depth stories around the league, KK Hockey is updated with fresh stories all day long and will bring you the latest news as quickly as possible.

Email Paul anytime at pk@kuklaskorner.com