During the off-season, before the lockout, the New York Rangers did some re-shuffling off some of their grit guys. One of those guys that added a lot of grit, a guy you could count on to have his teammates’ back was Brandon Prust. He helped in penalty kills, fights, blocking shots and overall being a good teammate. Did the Rangers make a mistake in not keeping him?
Well, it could be that the Rangers didn’t want to make the kind of commitment to Prust that the Montreal Canadiens did in signing Prust to a four year deal worth $10 million. That kind of commitment might have precluded them from making the deal for Rick Nash, who has impressed early on.
The Rangers went out and added guys like Aaron Asham and Jeff Halpern to try and some of that grit and penalty kill ability that Prust had, however, it’s just not the same. Now comes reports today that Prust may be getting some time on Montreal’s top line. Prust hasn’t had an impact on the score sheet yet (he’s only got three points) but he’s an intangibles guy, a kind of player that every winning team needs. He already leads the league in penalty minutes, and you know what, sometimes that’s not a bad thing.
Some of the things that the Rangers have missed so far is some grit as well as some secondary scoring. While Prust may not provide the scoring punch, guys like Asham and Halpern haven’t either. If you’re going to be promoted to the top line, like Prust may be, you have to be doing something right. The Rangers miss him, and we’ll see if it ends up costing them in the long run.