This 26 year old is from Red Deer, Alberta and played for the Medicine Hat Tigers in the WHL before being drafted by the St. Louis Blues in the 2005 Entry Draft. When I use to watch Russell play in the WHL, he was always a powerful defenceman and used his 5’10′ and 172lbs to his advantage. Since being traded to the Flames, I have seen him flourish at the NHL level. In 44 games with the Flames this season, Russell has 20 points, which include 4 goals and 16 assists.
If you’re going through NHL withdrawls already, here is a highlight video, post-game interview with Bob Hartley, and post-game interview with Reto Berra after the game against the Philadelphia Flyers.
While we are on the subject of goalies, I am a little disappointed to announce that Joni Ortio has been sent back down to the Abbotsford Heat without having the chance to play at the NHL level. Don’t worry, Flames fans, I have a feeling he may be down, but he will not be out permanently. I believe Ortio is too good of a goalie to sit at the AHL level for too long. I have a feeling we will see him in the NHL again soon.
This is a special time that happens every four years when the NHL takes a two-week break and we get to focus on international talents during the Winter Olympics. During this two week span, I will try to keep you updated on some of the medals won and how well the NHLers are doing for each of their teams. Although I will be cheering on one of my favorite goaltenders, Reto Berra as he represents Switzerland and defencesman Ladislav Smid as he represents his country, the Czech Republic, I will always be a Canadian girl with strong ties to my home country. Go Canada!
Good luck to all countries and each athlete in Sochi as they reach their ultimate goal of playing on this international stage!