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
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.
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.
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?
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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
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