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Moment of the Year 2015-2016: Kris Russell's Departure

Kris Russell is a Star and the Flames are better for it.

Kris Russell is a Star and the Flames are better for it.
Kris Russell is a Star and the Flames are better for it.
Anne-Marie Sorvin-USA TODAY Sports

The Calgary Flames had a rough year after a remarkable playoff run in 2014-2015.  That run was largely fueled by a fair amount of things that frankly could not be duplicated.  There was the high P.D.O., the special teams combined with the penalty differential, the goaltending.  Much of that was fueled by the tandem of Kris Russell and Dennis Wideman.

Many wanted one or both of the Flames two middle pair defenseman shipped away at the end of last season.  The Flames didn't move either one of them and it's understandable as to why - trading one of the top four defensemen after a trip to the second round of the playoffs would create some rather horrid looking optics.  This season he was a top four defenseman in minutes only and some were notably frazzled, fearing that they would waste valuable cap space on a guy who wasn't earning it.

The Flames saw that the potential for a re-signing wasn't there.  They moved quickly to ensure that they wouldn't get nothing for something.  The return should have been a third, maybe a second at highest.  Brad Treliving managed to work some amazing magic, garnering a second round draft pick with the potential for a first along with Jyrki Jokipakka and Brett Pollack.

Jokipakka is hardly stellar in his own right, but he's cheap, something that the Flames will need next year with the upcoming contracts of Johnny Gaudreau and Sean Monahan.  The potential for a first is phenomenal and Brett Pollack had 78 points in 72 games with the Oil Kings.  He also put up a goal in two games for the Stockton Heat.

The Flames dismal season has closed and they'll have to look towards the future.  Treliving showed fans this season that he's not going to overpay free agents even if they're in house.  He's also going to do everything he can to ensure that the team receives top value for their assets, thus why the trade of Russell was the greatest moment of the season.