Blues acquire D Russell from Columbus

The St. Louis Blues added one of new coach Ken Hitchcock’s

favorites from his former team, acquiring defenseman Kris Russell

from the Columbus Blue Jackets.

The Blue Jackets got defenseman Nikita Nikitin in a deal after

the Blues’ 3-2 overtime loss to the Maple Leafs Thursday night that

wasn’t made official until Friday.

The 24-year-old Russell has two goals, an assist and 13 penalty

minutes in 12 games with Columbus. Russell has played in 288 NHL

games over five seasons, all with Columbus, and has 79 points (18

goals, 61 assists). He was a third-round draft pick in 2005.

The 25-year-old Nikitin has no points and minus-5 in seven games

with St. Louis. He was a healthy scratch in eight of the last nine

games. A fifth-round pick in 2004, Nikitin has one goal and eight

assists in 41 games, all with St. Louis.