Dave Stubbs of the Montreal Gazette informs us today that Michel Therrien (new head coach) and Scott Mellanby (player personnel director) personally pitched playing for the Candiens to former Ranger Brandon Prust over the summer before signing his four-year, $10 million pact.
In their presentation, Therrien sweet-talked Prust by telling the rugger forward he would, among other things, see some power play time with the Canadiens.
...“Michel said he likes a guy like me on every line, that he likes a couple of skilled guys on a line and a guy who’s going to get the puck to them,” Prust said. “I don’t want anybody to tell me I’m going to play first line because that’s not going to happen.
“(Therrien) said I’m more a third-line guy, but I’ll get chances on the second line and power play. I won’t be first-wave power play, but I’ll get my opportunities here. If I do what I know I can do, I’ll earn my ice time."...
- Are the Canadiens nuts? Prust on the second power play?! Don't get me wrong I loved Prust when he was a Ranger, but to give him any PP time is laughable. He's a grinder that will stick up for teammates and play the game hard. THAT'S IT.
- Therrien must think Prust's 24 career goals in 279 NHL games is a misprint.
- I wonder if Prust thought to himself "Power play time? Really?" during this pitch.
Nothing wrong with putting Prust on the PP we have always had trouble with guys willing to stand in front of the net and screen the goalie. I see him in that roll when he is on the PP.
Not surprising, after all, this is the same team that used McDonagh as a "throw-in" for the Scott Gomez deal!
In hind sight that was a very bad trade or deal for the habs, GM's make mistakes we needed a guy like Prust and I would like to see a couple more just like him. We need to be tougher to play against.
@gravey94 The word with McD was that he wasn't really on page with the Habs staff. They wanted him doing more, and wanted him to step away from NCAA's and work more with their coach's (which he would have had to pay for out of pocket thanks to the NCAA). When they moved him, I think the thought was more that they might lose him all together anyway.
I don't know that giving Prusty a shot on the PP with the right guys is a laughable idea (especially for a struggling power play), but certainly it's not something I would promise to the guy. It's more something I could see a coach TRYING to maybe spark something.
I agree, he might not be on the second unit every night but if the PP is struggling what is wrong with giving him some ice time in that position. He might surprise you. Just because his stats do not suggest that he is a goal scorer is sometimes is misleading since he plays third line mostly and penalty PK. If you give a guy some iceteam in that position he may surprise you becuase he will definitely work harder to prove he belongs, it is in his character.
@CJ It's not ridiculous to put Brandon Prust on a struggling PP in January to see if anything comes of it.It IS ridiculous to essentially promise Brandon Prust PP time long term. Look, I love Brandon Prust. Great guy and is excellent in a bottom-six role. And the Rangers certainly will miss him on the ice and in the locker room. But I have no clue what the hell the Habs see in him to think that he was worth a 4 year, 10M deal and capable of 2nd line and PP time. It's bizarre.
@Herman_NYRBlog @CJ We're talking about the team that finished 28th overall, and hasn't made significant changes. They probably won't have to wait until January to struggle. They've got a bunch of young players they're looking to build around, so a guy like Prust being there, for the youngs players to pass, rather then simply handing them the spots, isn't really a bad thing.
Sometimes you do not have to score goals as a member of the PP to be successful. That is what the skilled guys are for!
@Herman_NYRBlog @CJ I think Prust got paid more then he's worth, but I think he's the right guy for the job up in Montreal. As i said above, they've got some young talent, Prust can be a place holder and eventually a protector for. The Habs are a team with cash, so it's not like they worry about how they make ends meet if they spend.
As it is they still have 6 mil in cap space to play with if they somehow catch fire and want to be buyers, or Malkin goes on the block or something, so Prusts deal isn't exactly handcuffing them. In two years they are done with Gomez and Gionta, giving them tons cap, and hopefully some of their young players have established themselves.
If I'm taking over the 3rd worst team in the league, in a hockey mad city, I want to bring some immediate improvement, and I want to play a brand of hockey that the fans will cheer for. If you had a ton of skill, you probably wouldn't have been 28th the season before. Try playing a grinding game, being a team other teams don't want to play, and steal enough wins to come off as respectable is the best thing you can hope for until you have the talent to compete.
Same goes for the PP, if you know your talent isn't better then there's why not try to be tougher, or use players to create openings for the talent you do have? Look at the success Stamkos had when the teamed him up with Downie. Downie didn't belong on the ice with Stamkos and St. Louis based on talent, but what he did bring to the ice with them allowed those players to excel. Therrien doesn't seem to be talking about running the whole PP (or even the 2nd PP, which is the only place he said he might use him "sometimes") through Prust, he's saying he thinks he can incorporate Prusts style into part of a successfull PP.
@BuckarooClub @CJ Here's the problem with that logic, though. They went out of their way to sign him as a free agent in July with a whole pool of free agents available. And not only did they sign him, but they handed him a significant pay raise and one that will last four seasons. This implies that Prust will not be getting PP time and 2nd line minutes because of no better options, but rather because they believe he is capable of it.
@CJ If a player like Brandon Prust is the "answer" to your PP, then you have an atrocious PP.
@TheWrage (Nice to meet you dude, welcome to the Blog.)
I didn't say he was an answer, but I don't think it's ridiculous.
Putting 3 of the same guy on any line is never a good idea (PP or otherwise), and having a dude who is willing to get down low and do some dirty work never hurts, especially when you have 2 other finishers on the line.
Remember when the Leafs put Domi on the PP with Sunden, Domi score quite a few goals, now from a skill standpoint Domi would be the last guy you would think you would want on your PP. Prust is at least as skilled as Domi if not more.
@CJ @TheWrage I get what you're saying, I could see how a guy like Prust could come in and help out. Put him with a couple of skill guys, let them work, and him do the dirty work. Post him in front of the net, creating traffic, and turn your 5-4 into a 4-3 for the skill guys.
If you know you can't beat them with skill alone, come up with a way you can try to win.
@TheNYRBlog So, if the Rangers stuck with their offer (at nearly $1 million less) and gave Prusty PP time, he would've stayed? Okayyyyyyy
@TheNYRBlog Considering how bad the #NYR were on the PP, maybe giving Prust a shot would have helped.
@TheWrage Thought the same thing. Wonder if they stick to their word, or if it was just a ploy to get him there lol