Russell remains unsigned and his agent is denying reports they have rejected an offer from the Maple Leafs, reports TSN.ca. Allain Roy, who represents the defender, took to Twitter on Sunday night to shoot down those rumors. He did not say if Russell has received interest or an offer from Toronto. The 29-year-old scored four goals and 15 assists in 62 games between the Flames and Stars last season. TSN suggests there may be up to four team still in the running for Russell, who is the top defender still unsigned.
Russell is expected to hit the open market as an unrestricted free agent this summer, per Stars general manager Jim Nill, ESPN's Craig Custance reports. The Stars have already traded away the negotiating rights of Alex Goligoski (now in Arizona), with Russell and Jason Demers both expected to walk as unrestricted free agents this summer. Dallas can afford to rebuild its defense thanks to a wealth of talent expected to emerge from minor-league affiliate AHL Texas. Assuming Russell does not end up getting a contract extension, he'll presumably latch on with another club in need of a premier shot-blocker -- Russell has redirected 200-plus shots in each of the past three seasons.
Russell finished with two assists and a plus-1 rating in Wednesday's 3-2 win over the Wild. In a reversal from his usual output, Russell dished out a pair of helpers, but failed to block a shot. The defensively-oriented blueliner has finished with a plus-1 rating in each of his three appearances this series, but his 19 points in 62 games between Calgary and Dallas suggest few if any more multi-point efforts are on the horizon for the 28-year-old.
Russell (illness) took part in line rushes during pregame warmups, indicating he'll return to the Stars' lineup for Wednesday's Game 4 against Minnesota, Mike Heika of the Dallas Morning News reports. The Stars will be happy to have Russell back in the lineup Wednesday, as the 28-year-old blueliner was solid in the first two games of Dallas' first-round matchup with the Wild, registering two shots on goal with a plus-2 rating over those contests. The 2005 third-round pick is expected to skate alongside Jason Demers on the Stars' third pairing in Wednesday's tilt.
Russell returned to practice Tuesday, but remains questionable for Game 4 on Wednesday, reports Mike Heika of the Dallas Morning News. Russell practiced with partner Jason Demers at practice, offering some hope the shot blocking machine would return, but after practice Ruff cast some doubt on that assumption. "He hans't been feeling well for a while," Ruff said, "so it might take more than just tomorrow." Don't insert him into your lineup until the Stars confirm he's ready to go.
Last 7 Games
|3 Year Avg||60||4||19||23||4||2||0||0||0||0||88.5|