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Oilers Working on One-Year Kris Russell Extension

According to reports on Wednesday, it appears the Edmonton Oilers are working towards an extension with 33-year-old defenseman Kris Russell.

According to a couple of reports on Wednesday, it appears the Edmonton Oilers are working towards an extension with 33-year-old defenseman Kris Russell. He’s in the fourth year of a $4 million per season contract and with the deal, he would meet Oilers requirement for a defenseman to be exposed in the NHL Seattle expansion draft.

While speculation is that this is being done for the purposes of expansion, this move is not likely to be met with great fanfare by Oilers Nation. There’s not much of a reason to do this deal now and by most accounts, Russell is one of the most polarizing players on the Oilers roster.

The value of the deal hasn’t become public knowledge but for some fans, that may not matter.

Russell is beloved by his teammates and coaches but he’s not gifted offensively. He’s excellent at blocking shots but advanced stats will suggest the reason he’s forced to block so many shots is because he’s playing in his own zone so often.

Still, as the Oilers try to move forward on defense without the services of Oscar Klefbom, Russell may become an important piece for the team next season.

*John Shannon has posted an update that the deal is done.

Is This About Protecting Jones?

This move might be more about defenseman Caleb Jones than anything. The belief is that the Oilers high on Jones and are doing what they need to do protect him during the expansion draft. Russell on a cheap one- year deal so they can expose him is perhaps the reason the Oilers are doing this now.

Kris Russell Edmonton Oilers
Kris Russell Edmonton Oilers

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