The Blues have placed restricted free-agent defenseman Kris Russell on waivers.

The club did make a qualifying offer to Russell, so the team will retain his rights should he go unclaimed.

The Blues have had preliminary contract negotiations with Russell in recent weeks, but nothing that developed into a contract. He does have arbitration rights.

Russell, 26, has played 76 games with the Blues after arriving in a 2011 trade with Columbus for defenseman Nikita Nikitin. He's netted five goals and 11 assists and posted a +19.

Russell, who is undersized at 5-foot-10 and 173 pounds but a good skater and poised with the puck, has been a serviceable defenseman. However, after the acquisition of Jay Bouwmeester and Jordan Leopold at last season's trade deadline, Russell was relegated to the press box as a healthy scratch. He played in only three of the final 14 regular-season games and none in the playoffs.

The Blues are in the process of trying to re-sign Leopold, who is an unrestricted free agent. NHL teams can begin signing UFAs on Friday.

In 15 regular-season games with the Blues, Leopold had two assists and was a minus-2. In six playoff games, he had no points and was a minus-2.