Darren Dreger was on Montreal’s TSN 690 on Tuesday morning:
On how unrestricted free agent defenseman Kris Russell has yet to sign, and on if there is a chance the Montreal Canadiens could be in play:
“Well, I guess there’s a chance. Why not. I mean, Montreal has expressed some interest. They had leading up to Friday, free agent frenzy day. As did the Toronto Maple Leafs, and a few other teams as well.
“I checked in yesterday. I’m trying to do as little as possible on the Insider beat now (laughs), but I checked in yesterday and it’s getting closer. There’s still a few teams that are intertwined, involved in the process. I haven’t yet been able to crack exactly which teams, who is involved – whether it’s Montreal, Toronto. Boston still needs a defenseman.
“It’s a curious one though, as to why Kris Russell didn’t go sooner. Sometimes, and I’m not being critical of the player or the agent here, sometimes luck plays into it as well, and sometimes the best deal is the first deal that’s been offered to you; and if you don’t take it, teams turn, and they pick up somebody else, and all of the sudden the market kind of crumbles beneath your feet.
“I don’t know that that’s what’s happened to Kris Russell, but Kris Russell would have been one of the top defensemen going into the free agent period. And yet, as we’re having this conversation, he’s probably forced to make a pretty tough decision. But the good thing is he has options. And it sounds like he has multiple options.
“But you look at what Kris Russell brings. I happen to like him. He’s a small defenseman. Defensively very strong. Noted for his shot-blocking. Can provide some offense, all of those things. So any team that still has a strong need in their top-four, has to be considering Kris Russell, and maybe the price is coming down as every day goes by.”
Source: TSN 690/ Transcript: Nichols