What if Prust gets greedy?

June 6, 2012, by

Brandon Prust is another example of Glen Sather’s recent ability to pull off trade theft. A throw in that became a core player and a great example of the black and blue, never say die Rangers identity. To cap it off, his last contract signed with the Rangers, a two year $800k/year deal, was a bargain thus further cementing Prust as a quality addition to the Rangers club.

With that said, there will be a market for Prust should he make free agency this summer and given his solid reputation as a fine bottom six player, excellent penalty killer and tough competitor with a little offense to his game, Prust will certainly have suitors outside of New York.

Prust therefore will have the opportunity to cash in should he choose to do so. The Rangers will likely have the opportunity to re-up him but may have to match or outbid other teams. Clubs such as the Leafs have been mentioned as a destination. What is a price that the Rangers would stop matching at? Can the Rangers replace Prust from within should he leave?

Losing Prust is more than losing just one player. It also means splitting up a highly effective tandem in Prust and Brian Boyle. It’s losing a part of an excellent penalty kill unit that would therefore undergo change (even more so if players such as Dubinsky move on too, a point worth considering).

The Rangers will want Prust back and in all honestly need him back. With John Mitchell likely gone (based on beat writer Andrew Gross’ assumption), Mats Zuccarello probably gone and Ruslan Fedotenko potentially being replaced as well, losing Prust would dramatically alter the bottom six forwards. Too much change isn’t a good thing when you already have a solid, contending roster.

What is a reasonable figure for Prust? Some initial speculation suggests Brian Boyle type money but that should be the absolute ceiling for Prust. Boyle has far greater potential than Prust even if Prust is the better physical player. With Mike Rupp already overpaid there shouldn’t be room for three players all potentially playing on the bottom line making close to $2m each annually.

A big problem for the Rangers and a temptation for Prust is that he can probably get as much as $2.5m/year in free agency. The hard working forward will have a decision to make about what is more important: a chance at a cup and a decent pay day or a big(ger) pay day and likely less success. The Rangers will also have a decision to make when the dollars need to be decided. How much do they want and how much do they need Brandon Prust back?


  1. Zen says:

    I personally think our bottom six was a major problem in the playoffs. The Rangers have a bunch of grinders that can’t score at those positions, which severely hurt them in the Devils series. I believe a shake-up is in order, so that here is more balance throughout the line-up. Ordinarily though, Prust wouldn’t be one of the guys I would want jettisoned based on pure team chemistry, BUT the max offer to him should be Boyle’s cap number. Anything over that and I suggest finding a player like him that has some offense to his game. There are indeed a few out there. Prust should take less to stay and continue with the only team that gave him a shot, but I won’t blame him if he doesn’t. Money is money.

  2. Matt J says:

    One thing’s for sure he can’t make more money than Boyle. If he demands $1.5 or more I say let him walk. I love him as much as the next guy, but he’s one of the most replaceable people on the team.

    This is why Mike Rupp was a bad signing at least from the stand point that he is overpaid for what he does. There was no need to make him paid like a top flight enforcer. Since I have no clue what goes on inside the team locker room, I’ll take the team’s word for it that he’s a good presence. The Rangers could have maybe afforded to overpay Prust a little if Rupp wasn’t on the team or making less money.

  3. David V says:

    I’d love to see him back, but at the right price. Travis Moen, Greg Campbell, and Brenden Morrow are all available as well. Better players than Prust right now.

  4. Jeff P says:

    There is no way Prust is making more than $1.5 from anyone. Look for the Rangers to sign him for $3M/2 years.

    Just like he is very valuable to the Rangers, he should realize that his value/exposure/playing time is maximized on the Rangers, because of the coach/style. He’s a fringe 4th liner on most teams.

    • michael says:

      I think you nailed it. Sather drops down $3M/2 years and congratulates him on his hot girlfriend that we all saw on the HBO series.

      At best I think he might get an extra year out of his UFA status and Sather may give him $4.5M/3 years.

    • Dave says:

      I’m in agreement with you here. 2-3 years, AAV of $1.5m is about where Prust can max out.

      I like the guy, but let’s remember he’s not a third line player. On any team with depth, he’s a fourth line guy. Same with Feds. Boyle is the only guy on that line who is arguably a third liner.

  5. Rob sahm says:

    I agree prust is not worth more then 1.5 per and if somebody does there nuts I think 3 million for 2 years is fair I dont want to lose him but there is other holes on this team besides losing prust

  6. tom murphy says:

    Prust’s next stop after New York will be Oblivion.
    I like the guy but, contrary to many Ranger fans’ opinion, he would not be hard to replace. I think there are plenty of hard working, gutsy guys out there who can give you 17 points and do Prust’s version of fighting (hang on and hope you don’t get too embarrassed).
    Also, I think Rangers missed boat to trade Boyle after having 20 goal year. He’ll never sniff 20 goals again.

    • Dave says:

      Prust is easily replaced.

      As for Boyle, it’s tough to score 20 goals when you start 30% of your shifts in the offensive zone. He was given the shutdown role and succeeded brilliantly.

    • mvp says:

      i agree 100%. this was a bad non-move by sather.

  7. Tim B says:

    Why does Glen pay enforcers alot? (Boogaard, Rup, Avery)

  8. mike says:

    what about konapka? we need someone who can win faceoffs and who can throw down when needed, and be a pain in the ass…. won’t come real cheap but i think hes worth it…

  9. kgb16 says:

    I agree with everyone who shuts down the argument and says 1.5 or walk, no more than 2 years. Our biggest deficiency this was scoring from every line, especially as we went deeper into the playoffs. Its also not easy to score when your primary focus is shot blocking. Keeping the 3rd or 4th line guys who can’t score wpould not constitute an upgrade. And LA has shown us we need some size to be a part of a 3 series cup run.