Blues send D Nikitin to Columbus for D Russell

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 received defenseman Nikita Nikitin in the deal,

which was announced Friday.

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

minutes in 12 games with Columbus. The 5-foot-10, 174-pound

defenseman, has played in 288 NHL games over five seasons, all with

Columbus, and has 18 goals and 61 assists. He was a third-round

draft pick in 2005.

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

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

nine games. The 2004 fifth-round pick has one goal and eight

assists in 41 career games, all with St. Louis.