Former Ranger Prust enjoying new role with Canadiens

Brandon Prust was a fan favorite, thanks in large part to his fighting prowess. Credit: Getty Images
Brandon Prust was a fan favorite, thanks in large part to his fighting prowess.
Credit: Getty Images

The impish grin was the same. The colors were the same. It was the logo on the T-shirt Brandon Prust wore yesterday afternoon that was different.

“I don’t know if I have too many bad memories of being here,” Prust told reporters outside of the visiting dressing room prior to the Canadiens-Rangers game at the Garden last night. The resumption of the Original Six rivalry marked Prust’s return to New York after spending two-and-a-half seasons with the Rangers.
“[I] made a lot of friends, love the city, great organization. It’s kind of a kick start to my hockey career. All good memories.”

Prust signed a four-year, $10 million deal with the Canadiens as an unrestricted free agent on July 1. The Montreal brain trust determined one of the primary issues with the Canadiens in 2011-12 was a decided lack of toughness.

The early returns have been good. The Canadiens entered last night’s game with a Northeast Division leading 10-4-1 record.

“It’s been a good start to the season. Enjoying my time, we have a great team, organization. It’s been a lot easier, we’re winning,” Prust said of the Canadiens’ courtship. They made some good changes in the offseason [and] you like to think you’re a piece of that puzzle, [that] you brought some good things to that dressing room and out on the ice. That’s what I try to do on the ice. It’s been a whole bunch of the things that have come together to bring us success.”

Players like Prust are valued by their teammates and coaches for the role they perform. However, they are often overlooked in free agency for their more skilled brethren. Prust hinted that the term and length of his deal was important.

“Sometimes, players like me are maybe overlooked. It was something I wanted to prove,” Prust said.

He also wanted to prove that he can do more than trade punches.

Prust has played in every game for the Canadiens this season. Skating on a line with third-overall pick Alex Galchenyuk and veteran Erik Cole, Prust has four points (two goals and two assists) and a plus-4 rating while averaging 12:28 of ice time.

“[I] wanted an opportunity to play a lot more,” said Prust, who averaged 11:56 last season with New York. “I wanted to maybe get that opportunity to play a lot of minutes and be a guy they look for a spark. It’s good to go out and you’re not always thinking about fighting. Sometimes I find I was doing a lot. It’s easier to play when that’s the second thing on your mind.”

Do not take that to mean Prust has eliminated fighting from his repertoire. He leads the NHL with 71 penalty minutes and his five fighting majors are tied for second most in the league.

“You know I’m always looking for it,” Prust deadpanned.

Follow Rangers beat writer Denis Gorman on Twitter @DenisGorman.



News
Entertainment
Sports
Lifestyle
News

Rock legend Neil Young files for divorce after…

The legendary Canadian rocker Neil Young has filed for divorce from his wife of 36 years.

Local

FDNY debuts new fire simulator for blazes at…

The New York City Fire Department christened its newest, state-of-the-art, custom-built simulator at its training academy on Randall's Island Tuesday.

Local

Bronx cop saves baby who stopped breathing

A Bronx police officer is credited with saving the life of a 2-month-old baby who stopped breathing Tuesday morning. Police Officer Johnny Castillo, 38, was…

Local

Brewer celebrates Women's Equality Day with voter pledge

Manhattan Borough President Gale Brewer celebrated Women’s Equality Day Tuesday by pledging to register at least five women voters before the Oct. 10 deadline. Brewer…

Movies

Review: 'The Last of Robin Hood' is a…

Dakota Fanning plays Errol Flynn's (Kevin Kline) teenage gal pal in "The Last of Robin Hood," which takes a scandal and makes it dully empathetic.

Movies

Review: The uneven 'Life of Crime' mostly gets…

Elmore Leonard's "The Switch" becomes the new indie crime dramedy "Life of Crime," with Jennifer Aniston as a kidnapped woman whose husband won't pay up.

Movies

Review: Pierce Brosnan gets a cut-rate Bond knockoff…

Pierce Brosnan tries to reclaim his glory days with the spy thriller "The November Man" but instead gets a sad DTV-style ripoff with lame action.

Music

Tiesto headlines Made in America

Electronic music legend Tiesto is ready to get in touch with his inner Rocky at the Jay Z-curated Budweiser Made in America festival this weekend…

College

When are 2014 college football playoffs? (Schedule, date,…

When and where are 2014 college football playoffs? A look at the schedule, date, TV, time for the semi-finals at championship game.

NFL

Dimitri Patterson suspended only for rest of preseason…

Dimitri Patterson ended up getting just a slap on the wrist.

Sports

Eugenie Bouchard excited for 'rowdy' fans at US…

Eugenie Bouchard is sure to endear herself to New York's tennis faithful as she tries to win her first grand slam title across the next two weeks.

MLB

MLB Power Rankings: Angels and A's still at…

MLB Power Rankings: Angels and A's still at top, Nationals climb

Parenting

Lure your baby to sleep with Maroon 5…

These new renditions of "Moves Like Jagger" and "Payphone" are Maroon 5 like you've never heard them before.

Wellbeing

Who is having the most orgasms?

  Single lesbians report having orgasms more often than heterosexual women but both gay and straight men still come out on top of the climax…

Home

Jonathan Adler shares his tips for a great…

Jonathan Adler took a break from boogie boarding at his beach house to tell us how to keep that Labor Day party festive.

Travel

Most popular Labor Day weekend destinations

Priceline.com released its Top 20 destinations for the end of summer, including Labor Day weekend. If you’re heading to any of these spots, expect a…