Kris Russell gets back into game action Thursday night for the Edmonton Oilers sporting his new number.
Russell will wear number six when the Oilers host the Vancouver Canucks at Rogers Place. It’s the number formerly worn by defenceman Adam Larsson, who left the Oilers for Seattle in free agency.
“I thought it’d be funny for one. I was waiting for Larse to text me,” joked Russell, who had worn number four since joining the Oilers at the start of the 2016-17 season.
The Oilers announced in September that four will be retired on Nov. 5 in honour of Kevin Lowe, the franchise leader in games played.
“Out of respect for him and his career, I wanted to get out of the way so it when came time to put in the rafters, there wasn’t any questions about it. Personally, selfishly, it’s an honour to be the last guy to wear that jersey. It’s an huge honour for him, and it’s well deserved.”
Russell, 34, wasn’t on the ice for the first few days of training camp.
“I was dealing with the upper body issue that was kind of bugging me for a little bit,” said Russell. “Fortunately, I was able to skate. Even when I was in practices, I was skating before the team, so I got to do some two-a-days. My workload was pretty high so I feel well conditioned.”
Kailer Yamamoto is out after taking a big hit Monday against the Calgary Flames.
The Oilers and Canucks are on 630 CHED with the Face-off Show at 5:30 p.m. The game starts at 7 p.m.