According to Eric Francis of the Calgary Sun, the Calgary Flames have begun contract extension talks with defenseman Kris Russell. General Manager Brad Treliving sat down with Russell’s agent, Al Roy, earlier this week to begin talks on a new contract.
The 28year old is coming off a career season, where he set a new career high for assists (30), points (34), and plus/minus (+18), all while being a force in the defensive end and setting a new NHL record for most blocked shots in a season (283).
Entering the final year of his twoyear/$5.2 million contract that he signed in 2014, the 5’10” 173lbs defenseman will be looking for a substantial raise on his current $2.6 million cap hit heading into next summer. However, with six defensemen (Giordano, Hamilton, Wideman, Brodie, Smid, and Engelland) already locked up for 201617 and combining to carry a cap hit of $28.8 million, plus the fact that Sean Monahan and Johnny Gaudreau will be restricted freeagents and in need of new contracts themselves at the end of the season, Brad Treliving and company may find it impossible to work out a new deal with the Caroline, Alberta native.
The Flames also need to decide on what to do with Jiri Hudler, who will also be an unrestricted freeagent at season’s end. The 31year old Olomouc, Czech Republic native is entering the final year of the fouryear/$16.0 million contract he signed with the Flames in 2012, and is coming off a career year himself in which he posted a career high for goals (31), assists (45), points (76), and plus/minus (+17). If Hudler can come anywhere close to repeating last season’s numbers, he could command upwards of $6.0 million a year on his next contract. Continue reading Flames, Russell Begin Extension Talks