Blues ship defenseman to Columbus

Blues ship defenseman to Columbus

Credit: AP

St. Louis Blues' Nikita Nikitin, of Russia, is congratulated by teammates after scoring his first NHL goal during the second period of an NHL hockey game against the Tampa Bay Lightning Sunday, Feb. 6, 2011, in Tampa, Fla. (AP Photo/Mike Carlson)

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by Scott Bierman, HockeyStL

HockeyStL

Posted on November 11, 2011 at 12:24 AM

Updated Friday, Nov 11 at 3:19 PM

(HockeyStL) -- The St. Louis Blues have traded defenseman Nikita Nikitin to the Columbus Blue Jackets for defenseman Kris Russell.

Russell was a third round pick in the 2005 NHL Draft and has 79 points (18 goals, 61 assists) in five seasons (288 games played).  This season, the 24-year-old has two goals and one assist and minus-1 in 12 games.

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The Blue Jackets receive Nikitin, a fifth round pick in the 2004 NHL Draft, has no points and is minus-5 in seven games for the Blues this season.  He has nine career points in 48 games played.

Both players were scratches during their team’s Thursday night game.

There is reasonable speculation that Blues head coach Ken Hitchcock had a serious pull in this trade because he coached the Blues Jackets from 2006 until he was fired in 2010.

Russell can become an unrestricted free agent in 2013.

by Scott Bierman, HockeyStL

-follow me on Twitter @Scott_Bierman
 

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