As reported by, well, everyone on Twitter, the Blues have traded away defenseman Nikita Nikitin to Columbus for defenseman Kris Russell. Rumors are that new coach Ken Hitchcock was a fan of the Blue Jackets guy and put this trade in motion.
Nikitin is a young offensive minded blueliner with KHL experience, so he should be able to immediately step into the Blue Jackets' lineup. The depth of the defensive corps here in St. Louis made him a frequent visitor of the press box.
Russell is a 24-year-old defenseman who has scored 21, 22 and 23 points in his last three NHL seasons. He was minus-16 in those years. But it was Columbus, after all.
The big question is where Russell fits in the Blues lineup - a roster that recently added Ian Cole, who, like Russell, is a left handed shot but who plays a more physical game. The Blues continue to have eight defensemen on the NHL roster if Cole does not go back down to Peoria.
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