Blues send D Nikitin to Columbus for D Russell

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ST. LOUIS (AP) -- The St. Louis Blues added one of new coach Ken Hitchcock's favorites from his former team, acquiring defenseman Kris Russell from the Columbus Blue Jackets.

The Blue Jackets received defenseman Nikita Nikitin in the deal, which was announced Friday.

The 24-year-old Russell has two goals, an assist and 13 penalty minutes in 12 games with Columbus. The 5-foot-10, 174-pound defenseman, has played in 288 NHL games over five seasons, all with Columbus, and has 18 goals and 61 assists. He was a third-round draft pick in 2005.

The 25-year-old Nikitin has no points and is minus-5 in seven games with St. Louis. He was a healthy scratch in eight of the last nine games. The 2004 fifth-round pick has one goal and eight assists in 41 career games, all with St. Louis.