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Blue Jackets follow ugly loss with another obscure trade

Nov 10, 2011, 11:37 PM EDT

Anaheim Ducks v Columbus Blue Jackets Getty Images

Columbus Blue Jackets fans had to be calling for blood on the heels of the team falling to a ridiculous 2-12-1 after an embarrassing loss to the Chicago Blackhawks tonight. It only makes sense, then, that (somehow still employed) GM Scott Howson … made another marginal trade.

In this case, the Blue Jackets sent offensive defenseman Kris Russell to the St. Louis Blues for hilariously named blueliner Nikita Nikitin. (If I ever have a child and name it Bryan O’Brien, I’ll have to buy him a Nikitin jersey.)

The Blue Jackets have “traded” with the Blue Jackets a couple times already if you count Ken Hitchcock’s surprising St. Louis hiring, but they don’t seem to be learning the lesson that the Blues should have imparted. That franchise sent a lightning bolt through their ranks with that coaching move while the Blue Jackets are trying to patch up the Titanic’s leaks with Band-Aids.

Want more abuse for this decision? Instead of being a lateral move, it might actually be a slight step back. Russell is a third-round pick from the 2005 NHL Entry Draft who has played in 12 games this season. Nikitin is a fifth-round pick from 2004 who only appeared in seven contests.

Here’s the only real silver lining, then: Howson isn’t making huge decisions while his career hangs on the line. People want big moves, but what if he made a blockbuster that saddles the franchise with another bad contract or inferior talent?

Who knows how long this sad little ordeal will go on, but one thing seems to be clear: it might just be a tragicomedy until the end.

  1. bluesrawesome - Nov 11, 2011 at 1:05 AM

    Is Kris Russel good? I’ve never paid much atgion to him. What type of game does he play?

    • bigbear42 - Nov 11, 2011 at 6:55 AM

      I dont think hes all that great but at least Ive heard his name before

    • contraryguy - Nov 11, 2011 at 9:07 AM

      He’s eh, ok. Kind of a little guy, not a high-PIM D; Nikitin’s much bigger.

      Maybe Hitch wanted him.

    • east96st - Nov 11, 2011 at 9:09 AM

      He usually plays with heart. He’s undersized, Don’t believe his stat line which says he’s 5’10” and 180 – he’s smaller than listed in both categories. He was supposed to be the defensive scoring threat the Jackets desperately need and it never really took the way Columbus had hoped. Despite being fast, he can be a liability on defense and gets caught out of position. St Louis may have gotten a steal if a change of scenery and attitude lites a fire under the guy (especially since you really gave up nothing for him!). Obviously, Hitch thinks enough of him to add him to the team. He could work out for you guys. I would bet a LOT of money he has his best games against Columbus. Oh, wait. This year everyone is having their best game against Columbus!

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