Auld for Russell?

According to sources at Sensbuzz (link: there are rumblings that Murray wants to take another run at Kris Russell. This time the bait will be Alex Auld..... Okay there must be a catch in there somewhere. When the Sens asked for Russell and a 2nd for Vermette last year, we did not do that deal. There is no way we would do this one. Not with Scott Howson at the helm.

Now before I dismiss this entirely, could there be any truth to it? There could be. Murray is infatuated with Russell and Auld would fill a need for a backup goalie. My initial thought went directly to picks. Would we do this if we would get our second rounder back? I don't think so.

The other situation would be if the Sens flopped first rounders with us from 9 to 16. This seems to be the most plausible. Howson has mentioned that they will explore moving up in the first round. If he placed a call to Ottawa, Russell was probably the hot item.

If this is indeed the deal, it may not be a bad one for the following reasons:

1) Our scouts have done very well the last 3 years. If we can get a player we really want (likely a PP puck moving defensemen) then that immediately replaces Russel in our system.

2) How much ceiling does Russell have? He has made exactly one memorable play off the rush, it was in the playoffs. Will he become a powerplay player? He doesn't exactly have a great slapper. We might feel like Russell's ceiling is not nearly as high as a top 10 pick from this draft. I absolutely love Russell's skating. There are games I love him, but plenty others that are meh.

3) Russell needs a new contract next year. Any idea how much he'd want? ~2  million?

4) Our greatest need on this team is a top pair defensemen. If that is the case and we do trade for one OR sign one (which is the plan at this point), who moves? Commie, Hejda, and Tyutin are staying. Klesla was by far the best playoff performer who can play in all situations. Then we got Methot and Tollefson.... If we get a legit top pair defender... Russell could easily be a scratch anyway.

5) In the draft if a smallish defensemen like Ellis is available from us, I've read from a number of sources that we would not likely take another smallish dman since we have Russell.... well if we trade Russell we could be in the market for a smallish defensemen.

I know many will say that Russell is a big piece of the future. He is young, he is skilled, but how skilled is he really? He doesn't make great plays with the puck and he doesn't get great shots on net. These are reasons he probably converted from forward eons ago. His skating is his bread and butter and he will be a solid NHL player for that reason.

Don't take this as a Russ bashing post. I like his game, he is the only player on our team that can do what he does. My happiness with a trade like this would be contingent on us getting a real top pair defender.

You do have to continue to stock the farm. In this case if that means trading Russ for a top prospect that we really like, then I would not cry my eyes out.

Agree, disagree, fire away!

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