Nah. He never once said that Russell was THE guy he wanted. He said they targeted two defensemen and they got one of them so they are happy they got that done.Hockey Widow wrote:http://sportsday.dallasnews.com/dallas- ... is-russell
Good read from the Dallas News.
Sounds like Benning was telling the truth, in the end Dallas chose Russell. One of the reasons was his ability to play both sides and the flexibility that gives the team. They also like his shot blocking and in your face attitude that Nill thinks is perfect playoff hockey.
Nill also said they weren't really ready to pull the trigger much earlier. It came down to targeting Russell in Jan, tracking Calgary since then, getting confirmation from them a few days ago that he was available as the Flames did want to re-sign him.
Also sounded like Gags was very involved and that's why they circled back to see if they could still land Hamhuis. A little in your face pay back from the Sandman that rightly Benning wanted no part of. That would have been getting ass f....in this case I think getting nothing rather than getting ass f...was the better approach. Nill said it would have been nice to add a second vet D man but not at the expense of giving up all you assets. They chose the one they wanted.
No GM is going to make a trade like that and then say that they settled for player B because player A wasn't available. You might say that when movin gout a young propsect or something, but even that is (was) a dumb move (Benning).
That article reads like they were in negotiations with both Calgary and Vancouver. And, while it doesn't say that Russell was first choice, it also doesn't say that "the other guy" was the first choice.
Those were such politically crafted answers that this doesn't put any theories or rumours to rest.
It is just too easy to believe that Trader Jim misread the market, tried to squeeze too much out of Dallas and got burned. The swing back offering a low pick for Hammer was probably due to the Gaglardi/Aquabros relationship and a way of saying "fuck you" to the guy who tried to bend them over.