The 25-year-old Russell was acquired by Columbus from the Montreal Canadiens in exchange for forward Mike Blunden on July 7, 2011. In his first season with the organization, he had two goals in 41 games with the Blue Jackets, while adding nine goals and six assists in 31 games with Springfield of the AHL.
He made his NHL debut on Jan. 7 at Los Angeles and tallied his first career point with a goal on Jan. 13 against Phoenix.
I remember the first time at Wrigley Field all of us had the long johns, the turtlenecks and the extra equipment because we were afraid of being cold. Halfway through the first period everybody's ripping everything off and we just ended up wearing what we would normally wear for a game at the United Center.
— Chicago Blackhawks forward Patrick Sharp on the 2009 Bridgestone NHL Winter Classic