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.
It was a big dream. [Messi] is probably the best athlete out there, so it's a big honor, for [Kuznetzov] as well. It's maybe a once in a lifetime opportunity to meet the best player in soccer right now. I'm a big Barcelona fan and Messi fan, so it's huge. You can take [Michael] Jordan, [Mark] Messier, [Wayne] Gretzky, those kinds of [people]. It's an honor to meet. It's nice to be in that position.
— Washington Capitals forward Alex Ovechkin told told Monumental Network after meeting soccer star Lionel Messi prior to Argentina's practice at Fed Ex Field in Landover, Md. on Friday