Read: The Fourth Line and How Much The Rangers Miss Brandon Prust

Brandon Prust, Marc Staal.jpgIn the NY Post, Larry Brooks writes that the Rangers have been lacking in energy and toughness since Brandon Prust left for Montreal (on a 4-year deal worth $10 millio) in the summer of 2012.

Brooks says that the Rangers haven’t had anyone to spark the team or someone who can “infuse his teammates with hockey courage” the way that Prust did.

Derek Dorsett, Brooks says, has tried, “with every fiber of his being” to bring the kind of game that Prust did.

On the players used on the Rangers fourth line, Brooks says that Brian Boyle’s is struggling to the point where it is tough to watch, Benoit Pouliot is a “mistake machine,” Taylor Pyatt struggles to keep up with the pace and Dominic Moore has tried to spark something but hasn’t been able to.

Adam Rotter: No one thought it would be this hard for the Rangers to replace Prust. When Prust came to the Rangers he wasn’t much more than a 4th line guy and with the Rangers and John Tortorella he developed into a more complete player, a penalty killer and someone who had an important role with the team. I think there was a feeling that they could find a player who plays a similar tough style, has some of the same attributes and maybe develop him to get the same kind of result. Michael Haley, an energy/tough guy who was an occasional NHLer with the Isles seemed to fit the model of that kind of player. Derek Dorsett brings a lot of what Prust did, but it’s just not having the same impact.

Note: Brandon Prust Wants To Return To The MTL Lineup On Saturday Against The Rangers

According to John Lu of TSN, Brandon Prust is targeting a return to the Montreal lineup on Saturday against the Rangers.

Prust has a shoulder injury, suffered after crashing into the boards in mid-October and had a time table of four weeks.

Prust missed the Habs visit to New York because of his shoulder injury.

Montreal wrote this on their website, “-Brandon Prust took to the ice wearing a regular red practice jersey, as opposed to the blue non-contact sweater he had been donning in previous days. He is not yet at 100% but is looking to make a return to the lineup during the weekend.”

Read: Brandon Prust Is Playing Against “Friends For Life” Tonight/Thanks John Tortorella For Teaching Him How To Be A Pro

5:13PM: Prust added

  • “I don’t know if I have many bad memories. I made a lot of friends. I love the city. It’s a great organization and it was a kick start to my NHL career.”
  • “I think everyone respects what I did here. I worked my butt off. I gave honest and hard work.”
  • “Some of these guys are my best friends, my friends for life”
  • “Torts likes guys that work hard. I think we both respected each other. He taught me a lot and set the bar high for everybody. He brought out the best in me and I am very thankful.”
  • “I would like to put a couple past Henrik Lundqvist.”

5:09PM: Prust met with the media before the game and Katie Strang says that when the topic of John Tortorella saying he was “just a guy in a Montreal uniform,” Prust jokingly responded that Tortorella is just another coach of the Rangers.

She adds that Prust wanted to set a precedent with his contract for player that have his role.

2:32PM: As Brandon Prust returns to Madison Square Garden tonight, he told RDS that he will be playing against players like Brian Boyle, Henrik Lundqvist and Marion Gaborik that he called “friends for life.”

Prust went on to say that he has “immense” respect for John Tortorella and that Tortorella showed Prust how to be a “real pro.” Prust also called Tortorella “a very good coach.”

When asked about Prust yesterday, Tortorella said that Prust is “just a guy in a Montreal uniform.”

Lavoie says that the Rangers offer for Prust was believed to be three years and for a total of $5.4 million.

He adds that while the contract he signed with Montreal, four years and $10 million, was seen as expensive, Prust provides a value that goes beyond statistics.

Note: Brandon Prust Returns To MSG Tonight

Brandon Prust will return to MSG tonight for the first time since signing with a four-year contract worth APTOPIX Rangers Lightning Hockey$10 million on July 1.

When asked about Prust’s return, John Tortorella said yesterday “it’s just a guy in a Montreal uniform.”

After Prust signed with Montreal, Tortorella said “we will miss him. He is a glue guy and became a big part of the locker room. Everyone in the room liked him and he loved it here. You try and keep your teams together but it’s impossible. I think Pruster was trying to be fair, but god, he gets $10 million over $4 years and promised some things by their organization. I am leery of that, and I told him that.”

Larry Brooks writes in the NY Post that the Rangers attempted to keep Prust with a three-year deal worth $6 million.

Ryan Callahan said of Prust, “he was a key part of our team. You could put him anywhere in the lineup. He is a big part of the identity that we created. It will be exciting to play him tomorrow and I expect him to be at his best.”

Derek Stepan fell in line with how Tortorella responded to a question about Prust, “you try not to focus on that, we want to continue to play the way we have been and keep the ball rolling and control the pace and keep the pace high.”

Brian Boyle told Ranger Rants, “Prusty obviously did some real good things for us. I have a lot of respect for him. He plays the game hard and honest. He definitely did some good things to help us win hockey games. Now, we’ve got new guys to help us win hockey games and they’re doing that.”

Brad Richards told the NY Post,  “Prustie was a very important guy here. No disrespect meant, though, but life goes on.”

80% of readers said that they were happy the Rangers didn’t match the offer for Prust.

For Montreal this season, Prust is averaging 12:28, has two goals, two assists, 27 hits, 2:37 on the PK, five fighting majors and two 10 minute misconducts.

Prust told the Montreal Gazette that he is excited to play the Rangers and return to MSG today.

Read: Replacing Brandon Prust

In a meeting with the media recently, John Tortorella was asked about how the Rangers plan to replace Brandon Prust’s presence in the lineup.

Tortorella said that there isn’t one player who can do all the things that Prust did, “I think it’s going to be a group. Pruster played a very important role for our team, killing penalties, bouncing around on different lines. Not one guy is going to fill that. I like what I see of the new guys coming in here. We have to find a way to fill those needs.”

In the NY Post, Brian Boyle told Larry Brooks that the Rangers may have been a bit spoiled having a guy like Prust.

Mike Rupp told Brooks that while he isn’t going to go out every night trying to replicate what Prust did, he expects to be part of the group that replaces him, “I expect to be part of the group that picks up for his loss and contributes that way, a lot of that is my game, too, but I’m not going to go into games consciously trying to replicate what he did.”

Brian Boyle said that as a group the Rangers need to step up to replace Prust because the Rangers identity isn’t changing, “It’s who we are, no matter who has left.”

Last night in Montreal, Brandon Prust played over 10 minutes, had a fight, three hits, one blocked shots and won three of four faceoffs.

Mike Rupp played 4:38 and had a fight. Taylor Pyatt played 12:36, was a minus two, and had four hits.

Brndon Segal played 5:21 and took a penalty. Heff Halpern played 9:30 and was 2 for 10 on faceoffs.

Read: Coming To The Rangers Was The Best Moment For Brandon Prust

Prior to being acquired by the Rangers on Feb 1, 2010 Brandon Prust was playing about 6-8 minutes a night and known primarily as a fighter for Phoenix and Calgary.

In 2008-09, Prust had 16 fights in 36 games and Prust had 25 fights split between Calgary and the Rangers in 2009-10 with 18 of them coming before the trade.

Dave Stubbs in the Montreal Gazette, “Being traded to New York was the best thing for my career. I got a chance to put some minutes down and show I can play, not just fight.

In his two full seasons with the Rangers Prust played over 10 minutes a game, averaged 1:40 on the PK and scored 18 goals and 28 assists.

Prust was made promises by Montreal that he would see an increased role.

Read: How Montreal Sweet Talked Brandon Prust Into Playing There

In the Montreal Gazette, Dave Stubbs writes about how the Canadians were able to lure Brandon Prust away from the Rangers.

Prust signed a four-year deal with Montreal worth $10 million on July and had coach Michel Therrien and Scott Mellanby come to his parents his in Ontario where Prust was spending some time.

Stubbs writes “Therrien and Mellanby didn’t bring a contract, but rather a philosophy of where the Habs were and where they were going, and why they believed that Prust, who was spending some time with his folks, could be an important cog in the machine the Canadiens were constructing.”

He adds that they also brought Prust a Habs jersey with his name and the number “8″ on it.

Prust notes that Montreal promised him a third line role but also some chances on the second line and on the second PP.

80% of readers said that they are happy the Rangers didn’t match the offer for Prust.

John Tortorella said over the summer that he wasn’t a fan of the things that Montreal promised Prust and that he told him that.

Mailbag: How Much Are They Going To Miss Brandon Prust?

Craig: I don’t see how Asham, Pyatt or Haley can replace what Prust brought to this team. Everyone loved him, he busted his ass and he was always game to fight, especially against the Flyers and Devils.

Prust signed a four year deal with the Canadaiens worth $10 million.

80% of readers said that the Rangers made the right move by not matching that offer.

Brian Boyle told Blueshirts United that losing Prust will be tough, but part of hockey “We’re going to miss him. But this is a business and he had to do what was right for his future. Now it’s going to be a great battle going head to head against him when we play Montreal.”

John Tortorella said of Prust, “we will miss him. He is a glue guy and became a big part of the locker room. Everyone in the room liked him and he loved it here. You try and keep your teams together but it’s impossible. I think Pruster was trying to be fair, but god, he gets $10 million over $4 years and promised some things by their organization and I am leery of that, and I told him that.”

Adam Rotter: The Rangers are going to miss Prust as much as a team can miss a bottom six player. He embodied everything that was good about this team, played through pain and never took a shift off. He was a key penalty killer for the Rangers and a good forechecker but that is a role that Carl Hagelin could start to assume this season. If the Rangers didn’t think they could go on without Prust they would have re-signed him at any cost. They feel they brought in a guy like Asham, at a good value, who can replicate many of the things that Prust did on the ice.

Read: Montreal Wanted Brandon Prust Badly

In the NY Post, Larry Brooks spoke with former Ranger Brandon Prust about how he ended up in Montreal with a four year deal worth $10 million.

On how the situation played out, Prust said, “I know we like each other and I wanted to come back, but in the end, Montreal showed a lot more interest and that’s why I made this decision.”

Prust said he loved the organization and the city, mentioning, “It’s a sad, crazy, mixed-emotional day.”

81% of readers said that they were happy the Rangers didn’t match the offer for Prust.

Adam Rotter: The consensus seems to be the Habs gave Prust a lot of money, but they want to change the culture there and make them tougher to play against. To do that, Montreal had to overpay and make sure they got their man. Had the money been closer, Brooks says had the Rangers offered $2 million a season, it’s believed Prust would’ve stayed in NY.