Tuesday, 24 July 2012

****UPDATED**** Welcome to Montreal: Brandon Prust

As anyone who follows the 24/7/365 saga that is the Montreal Canadiens can tell you, Canada Day 2012 was a busy day on the Job for new General Manger Marc Bergevin.

Bergevin brought in 2 brand new faces to Montreal Canadiens fandom, Colby Armstrong and Brandon Prust. Both are expected to be bottom 6 forwards. Today we'll begin looking at all the new talent coming to Montreal to get everyone primed for the upcoming season.

Brandon Prust was on my list of players that I wanted to see the Habs' acquire, so clearly I was pleased by the signing.

As he proved during his time with the New York Rangers, Brandon Prust is a rugged bottom 6 forward. He kills penalties (averaging 1:40 per game on the PK in 2011-2012), He can fight - having been charged with 20 fighting majors last season, but he can also play hockey. Prust averaged over 10 mins a game last season - for a Rangers team that finished 1st in the NHL. He threw 144 hits, took 156 mins in penalties, and scored 2 game winning goals.

Those are the interesting numbers on Prust, but as anyone who pays attention to the game of hockey will tell you, there is plenty that goes on on the ice that a stat sheet can not tell you. Hockey analysts often refer to that as intangibles.

For further insight into the intangibles Brandon Prust brings, I decided to talk to some people who covered him on a daily basis.

Jesse Spector is a US National Hockey writer for the Sporting News, and Brett Cyrgalis is a sports writer at the New York Post covering the Rangers.

Spector: "If you're into Intangibles, how about the fact that despite fighting pretty much anyone who asks, Prust hasn't missed a game in the past two seasons?"

Cyrgalis: " Brandon was a real leader throughout his time in New York. His teammates always looked up to him for his tough play, and his sacrificing his body for the betterment of the team.  He never got many of the headlines, but he got the famed Broadway Hat more often that most would expect, showing how much his teammates looked up to him and the way he played."

Spector: "Hockey players are famously tough, but Prust takes it to another level. As injuries besieged the Rangers in 2010-2011, he was asked about some knocks he had taken. His reply? "It's just pain." It became a rallying cry for a team that just squeaked into the playoffs."

Cyrgalis: "He will undoubtedly bring that same intensity to his game in Montreal"

Spector: "He's nails through and through"

After Brandon Dubinsky was traded to Columbus as part of the Rick Nash trade, many in the twitter-verse speculated that the Rangers had lost a lot of heart in the off-season between Dubinsky & Prust. Hockey fans could see alot of that side of Dubinsky in the HBO 24/7 series earlier this year. I asked both Cyrgalis and Spector to fill me in on some things about the character of Brandon Prust that the average fan might not know.

Spector: "Well, he's a big Blue Jays fan/ Aside from that, Prust is someone who is unflinchingly honest and appreciates what it takes to succeed in the NHL because he's had to battle his way through every stage of his career."

Cyrgalis: "What the average fan doesn't know about Brandon is that he's funny.He used to make everyone in the room laugh, and although he was exactly the most articulate speaker with microphones and cameras in his face, he was open and candid when possible."

Spector: "He's got a subtle sense of humour and it's kind of infectious. I don't think that means anything on the ice, but he's a good guy for young players to learn from when it comes to putting in a full effort all the time, regardless of how things are going."

Cyrgalis:  " He also found a way to lighten the mood -- which is very important for a team playing hugely important games down the stretch and in the playoffs"

“I want to keep doing the things that I’ve been known for, but I also want to focus on improving other areas as well,” said Prust recently in talking with NHLPA.com's Chris Lomon. “I’ll look at everything and go from there. I want to earn every second of ice time I get. I want to battle for those minutes. That’s my goal, to get more ice time, perhaps some time on the power play. I want to be the type of player who can be counted on in all kinds of situations.”

Brandon Prust typifies a bottom six forward. He'll bring his lunch pail and hard hat to the rink every night and go to work. He's the type of gritty player Michel Therrien loves to have, he's the kind of guy teammates love, and he's the kind of guy who's jersey any fan would be proud to wear on their back.

Welcome to Montreal Brandon Prust.

For more from Brett Cyrgalis, read him in the New York Post and follow him on Twitter: @brettcyrgalis 
For more from Jesse Spector, read him in the Sporting news and follow him on Twitter: @jessespector 
Brandon Prust can be followed on Twitter as well: @BrandonPrust8

1 comment:

  1. I feel like wearing his Habs jersey just reading your post , good work and can t wait to read your next one . Thanks......