Monday, July 2, 2012

Habs Offseason Player Profile: Brandon Prust

Brandon Prust - Ottawa Senators v New York Rangers
Canadiens Focus on Toughness Continues

Marc Bergevin was quite active on the first day of free agency, signing former Habs defenseman Francis Bouillon, super pest Colby Armstrong and tough guy Brandon Prust. With Prust being the most popular pick up in the eyes of the fans, today's profile will focus on him.

Brandon Prust - LW 6'0" 192 lbs 2011-12 Stats - 82GP - 5G - 12A - 17 Pts - -1 - 156 PIM

The Cost

Prust will receive $10 million over four years with the Canadiens, earning $3 million in his first year, two years at $2.5 million and $2 million in the final year. The price may seem steep for a bottom six player, but players tend to get more when they have the luxury of listening to multiple offers.

Performance

As was the case with Travis Moen and Ryan White, Prust's offensive numbers weren't what attracted Bergevin to the rugged free agent. Prust finished the 2011-12 campaign alongside Boston's Shawn Thornton leading the NHL with 20 major penalties. Of those 20 fights, Hockeyfights.com credited Prust with a11-7-2 record. This aspect of Prust's game will come in handy on a team that has desperately needed to get tougher for years.


The Fit

While $3 million is a generous salary for a fourth liner, it is likely that is where Prust will end up. Although either Colby Armstrong or Prust would fit alongside Travis Moen and Lars Eller, I would expect to see Prustn playing on a line with Petteri Nokelainen and Ryan White. Prust will play a part on the Canadiens already effective PK unit. In his last season with the Rangers, Prust logged an average of 1:40 minutes per game killing penalties and even collected two shorthanded goals. It is easily agreeable that the Habs needed a player like Prust, but do you agree with the price tag he came with?


Check out other player profiles:

Ryan White
Travis Moen

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Sean is a freelance writer currently contributing to HabsAddict.com. He is also a regular blogger and frequent panelist on the Habs post game show at MontrealHockeyTalk.com


You can follow Sean on Twitter.


(Photo by Nick Laham/Getty Images North America)

4 comments:

Great signing! We have to overpay for pretty much everyone....it's a fact of life for the Habs.
If you look at Moen's contract as a comparable, this is a little high but not too bad.
We need NHL depth on the bottom six (Eller, Bourque, Moen, Prust, Nokelainen, Armstromg, White) 14 NHL forwards. Let them all battle for ice time. We know there will be plenty of injuries.
We still need another gritty bottom 6 forward, hopefully more of a heavyweight that can skate.
We could still use a top 6 winger & a top 4 d-man.
Let your prospects spend more time in Hamilton.
Leblanc, Palushaj & Geoffrion would be great as top 2 line players in Hamilton and first in line for injury call ups.

I'm a big fan of the Prust signing. He was the most highly sought after bottom-6 UFA on the market and the Habs nabbed him. When was the last time the Habs won a UFA race for a player???

Like Moen, I feel this is an overpay but, as @HH points out, this is Montreal and they have no choice but to overpay.

With this signing and the addition of Armstrong I can't wait for the first game against Boston!

I feel he'll see a lot of ice. I expect him to play 3rd, 4th line AND PK. Therrien loves guys like him.

@Ben: 3rd/4th line for sure. But, from time to time, I wouldn't be surprised to see him on the second line too (depending on the situation).

It's a little pricey but I love this signing for the Habs.

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