The Blues have traded Kris Russell to Calgary in exchange for a fifth-round draft pick in 2014. The move is one that has many fans scratching their heads considering Russell went through waivers – and cleared waivers – earlier this week. Instead of claiming him then, the Flames elected to wait and deal an asset to the Blues.
Interesting strategy, Calgary.
This entire situation was a bit puzzling. The Blues extended a qualifying offer to Russell to retain his negotiating rights. The club then placed Russell on waivers, effectively giving up on the defenseman. Given the sparse number of defensemen hitting the open market, it seemed likely Russell would be claimed. Surprisingly, Russell cleared and remained with St. Louis.
It turns out Calgary had second thoughts. After passing on Russell (along with the rest of the NHL), the Flames decided they actually wanted Russell and traded their fifth-round pick to St. Louis to acquire him, ending a bizarre series of events.
Nice deal for the Blues. The club ends up receiving a return on an asset they were prepared to walk away from. Not bad.