Found July 03, 2012 on
New York Rangers
Toronto Maple Leafs
New Jersey Devils
Brandon Prust learned a universal truth about the business of professional sports.
It is a business.
"It was a sad, crazy, mixed-emotion day," Prust said in a conference call Sunday to announce his signing of a four-year, $10 million unrestricted free agent contract with the Montreal Canadiens.
The Canadiens signed Colby Armstrong (one year, $1 million) and Francis Bouillon (one year, $1.5 million) to add "more team toughness," according to Prust, who noted that the Habs had elements of toughness already in place in the persons of Travis Moen and Ryan White. Montreal announced Friday that Moen had agreed to a four-year deal worth $7.4 million.
"They have been," Prust acknowledged about the perception the Canadiens were easy to push around. "Definitely took a step in the right direction.
"[They were] lacking something like me."
Prust had played the past 2 1/2 seasons with the New York Rangers and became a fan favorite for his rambunctious style.
In 190 regular-season games with the Rangers, Prust recorded 22 goals and 33 assists for 55 points. He was a plus-4 with 381 penalty minutes, 347 hits and blocked 95 shots while playing a key role in the Rangers' penalty kill unit along with being universally adored by his teammates and coaches.
"I love the guy," coach John Tortorella said when asked about the left wing on the 2011-12 Rangers' breakup day.
So why did what seemed to be a no-brainer reunion turn into a public divorce?
Money and a feeling of devaluation.
Various media speculation had Prust asking for anywhere from $2.2 million to $3 million per year, while the Rangers' counteroffer was in the $1.8 million range.
The chasm prompted Rangers General Manager Glen Sather to tell the New York Post at the NHL Draft that he didn't think they "would get [a deal] done" with Prust, who responded by tweeting he "wished management wanted me back as much as the fans."
When he talked with reporters Sunday night, Prust explained that he "thought there was a high chance" he and the Rangers "could get something done" following the season-ending loss to the New Jersey Devils in the Eastern Conference Final, but "Montreal showed a lot more interest." He added that the Canadiens "really showed it today."
Prust said he became excited about the prospect of being a Canadien after talks with Montreal's newly-hired brain trust of GM Marc Bergevin, director of player personnel Scott Mellanby and head coach Michel Therrien.
"The team is moving in the right direction. I felt like I wanted to be part of the change," Prust said. He said that he and Therrien are "on the same page. Add a little more physical presence. It was a big factor in my decision."
Montreal is not a city in which Prust is unfamiliar as he noted that his girlfriend "lives and works" in Montreal before adding, "Montreal is the best hockey city in the world. Montreal Canadiens -- great hockey town, great hockey history."
BEST OF MAXIM
AROUND THE WEB
#NYR Rangers have signed former #Isles tough guy Micheal Haley to two-year deal
— Katie Strang (@KatieStrangESPN) July 1, 2012
I really like Haley's toughness and swagger, as did Isles fans, but this signing begs the question: How many tough guys do the Rangers need on the roster? Rupp, Bickel, Asham and now Haley are all signed to contracts.
GM Glen Sather needs...
Well word has just come down that the New York Rangers have signed Aaron Asham to a two-year deal worth $2 million. Asham is a hated player who is going to stir things up on the ice. Now what’s interesting, is this the end of Brandon Prust’s time with the Rangers and it seems like it will be. [...]
Well with the signing of Aaron Asham it made Prust expendable and he has found a new home with the Montreal Canadiens. Montreal signs him for 4 years/$10 million, which is ridiculous. Now to all the Rangers fans complaining that the Rangers signed Asham and they are letting Prust go, you need to shutup. Had the Rangers made this [...]
After signing a four-year, $10 million deal with the Montreal Canadians, Brandon Prust spoke with Andrew Gross at the Bergen Record about why he didn't re-sign with the Rangers..."I talked to Torts (coach John Tortorella) today. I didn't talk to Slats (GM Glen Sather) today, my agent was talking to them. I know we both like each other and both wanted me to come back...
Asham completes his tour of Atlantic Division, 2 yrs $1M per with Rangers.— Larry Brooks(@NYP_Brooksie) July 1, 2012
Two reasons I'm not a big fan of this signing:
- It likely means Brandon Prust is officially not re-signing with the Rangers. They essentially fill the same roll in terms of being an enforcer, but Prust is cleaner, more respected and is more offensively capable...
Much noise was made yesterday when the Rangers went ahead and signed Arron Asham to a two year deal worth $1 million per season. At the time of the deal, Brandon Prust had not signed, but all had assumed that Prust would be signing elsewhere. About an hour later, Prust signed with the Montreal Canadiens with a whopping four year, $10 million contract.
For those keeping track, the...
via Spector’s Hockey, Various sources report the Montreal Canadiens have signed former Rangers forward Brandon Prust to a four-year, $10 million contract, or $2.5 million per season.
Entering the first day of free agency it was widely thought that the Rangers would seek to upgrade their offense and add a depth defender.
Instead, the Blueshirts added grit on July 1st while watching several of their own free agents depart for greener pastures.
Here’s what went down on Sunday.
Brandon Prust – It was disappointing to see the fan favorite go, but...
Wasn't sure what to expect on the first day of free agency, but in my opinion, it wasn't a good day for the Rangers.First, they lose Brandon Prust, as the former Rangers tough guy signed a 4-year, $10 million contract with the Montreal Canadiens....$2.5 million per?!?!?!?! That's almost as bad as trading Ryan McDonagh for Scott Gomez. Good for Prust to take advantage...
Over the past few days, we have seen some fairly significant roster turnover for the Rangers. While the majority of the core remains intact, the Rangers saw Arron Asham and Taylor Pyatt come in to –for all intents and purposes– replace Brandon Prust, Ruslan Fedotenko, and John Mitchell.
We’ve analyzed Asham versus Prust and Pyatt versus Fedotenko individually. But to be fair...
Pretty thrifty moves by Marc Bergevin and co. on the opening day of unrestricted free agency. Happy Canada day, by the way.
Happy pay-day to Brandon Prust, who squeezed a 4-year, $10, 000,000-deal out of a team that desperately needed a player like him. Canadiens fans should be happy with this one.
Snagging Colby Armstrong for one year, at $1, 000, 000... Who's going to...
As of noon today, free agents are officially allowed to shop their talents and sign with any team in the league. It’s always fun to watch where players wind up and for how much. In addition to live blogging all the fun starting a little bit before noon, we also did a BSB writer round table discussion on free agency and our predictions/hopes. By the end of the day, we will see who...
from Larry Brooks of the NY Post, It’s difficult to determine just who Sather might target over the next 48 hours. There is no credible right defenseman on the market to fill the second-pair hole on defense that remains wide open after University of Wisconsin free agent Justin Schultz’s decision yesterday to sign with the Oilers.
Rather than throw Monopoly money at marginal...