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Ken Hitchcock has taken over for the St. Louis Blues and he is already working on bringing some of his favorite players to St. Louis, this time at the expense of the Columbus Blue Jackets. Friday morning the Blues traded for defenseman Kris Russell, sending Nikita Nikitin to Columbus in return:
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.
Russell has been a solid defender for the Blue Jackets in an otherwise dismal season. in 12 games this season he has scored a pair of goals and added an assist. He is a solid -1 in the plus/minus ratio, making him one of the Columbus' better defenders. He has scored 18 goals in his NHL career, all with Columbus.