It was a good three years on Broadway for bruising winger Brandon Prust, but when the free agency bell rang after last season, so did opportunity — of the professional and financial kind, alike.
Last night at the Garden, when the Rangers lost 3-1 to Prust and his new team, the Canadiens, he again proved his worth.
“He’s a gamer,” Canadiens coach Michel Therrien said. “We like him a lot, and it was a special game for him. I thought he was a real warrior out there tonight for us.”
It was arguable that in his first game back at the Garden, Prust was consistently the best player on the ice, making Montreal management proud about the four-year, $10-million deal they gave him last summer. He assisted on Alex Galchenyuk’s game-winning goal early in the third period and finished with a plus-3 rating.
Prust said he was happy to join a rebuilding team that is giving him a more offensive role, rather than his regular spot as a middleweight fighter.
“I definitely hoped for that,” Prust said. “I wanted to be able to get the opportunity to play a lot of minutes and be a guy who would be looked for in big spots. It’s good to go out there and not always have fighting be the first thing on my mind.”
Prust showed that his presence in the locker room was something as sought after as his presence on the ice.
“To have teams come after me like they did, it was definitely flattering,” Prust said. “It was also good to set a precedent for a player like me, how important that can be for teams and I was happy to be able to do it.”
Prust into new Hab-it
New York Post | Feb 20