The Colorado Avalanche Hockey Club announced today that it has acquired defenseman Ruslan Salei from the Florida Panthers organization. In exchange for his services, the Avalanche gives up the rights to Karlis Skrastins and a third-round draft choice in the 2008 Entry Draft.
“Ruslan Salei gives our club a solid and reliable asset on the blueline,” said Avalanche Executive Vice President and General Manager Francois Giguere. “We feel he can assume a major role within our defensive corps and provide some added stability in that area.”
Salei, 33, is a veteran of 11 NHL seasons, the last two with Florida after spending nine with the Anaheim Ducks organization. The 6’1”, 213-pound native of Minsk, Belarus was selected ninth overall by Anaheim in the 1996 Entry Draft. He appeared in all 65 games with Florida this season and has missed just four games total over his last four NHL campaigns. He’s coming off a 2006-07 year which saw him post career-highs in goals (6), assists (26) and points (32). Over his 11 NHL seasons, Salei has averaged over 23 minutes of ice-time per game.