Business of HockeyOffseason

Prust and Rangers appear to be parting ways

During Day Two of the draft yesterday, Brandon Prust tweeted that he appears to be parting ways with the Rangers organization, and will sign elsewhere on July 1:

I wish management wanted me back as much as the fans.. Thanks for the love everyone

Per Larry Brooks, the disagreement between Prust and Rangers brass is about $400,000 annually:

The 28-year-old winger, who is coming off a two-year deal in which he earned $800,000 per, is believed to be seeking a three-year contract in the range of $6.6 million while the Rangers are offering approximately $1.2 million less than that over the life of the contract.

Breaking this down, Prust wants roughly $2.2 million per year, and the Rangers are offering $1.8 million per season. The difference of $400,000 per year means Prust would earn $1.2 million less over the life of the contract.

Looking at Prust objectively, $2.2 million for a fourth line player is a bit absurd. With Brian Boyle making $1.7 million and Mike Rupp making $1.5 million, Prust’s demands for $2.2 million means he would be one of the highest paid fourth line players in the league, and the highest paid bottom six player on the Rangers not named Brandon Dubinsky.

While players often value themselves higher than they might actually be worth, perhaps the most alarming and disappointing aspect of this is that Prust appears to be unwilling to negotiate with the Rangers on that price tag.  It’s perfectly understandable that he wants to get his payday now, but for a player that has said money isn’t everything, it sure does seem that way.

Prust is a valuable Ranger. He is a warrior on the ice and appears to be a great character guy in the locker room. However, outside of that, what he brings to the table on the ice is easily replaced. He fights, he plays on the fourth line, and that’s it. There are cheaper options that add more value than just fourth line toughness (see: Konopka, Zenon).

Prust doesn’t take face offs, he doesn’t score goals. The two main things he has going for him are his penalty killing ability and his willingness to drop the gloves. At $2.2 million, that’s an awful lot to pay for someone who has scored just 24 goals over his career. With the Rangers needing to sign Michael Del Zotto, Artem Anisimov, Derek Stepan, Carl Hagelin, Ryan McDonagh, and Mike Sauer over the next two seasons, the money they save by letting Prust walk goes a long way to retaining the core members of this club.

Hockey is a business. Prust believes he can get $2.2 million on the open market. Hopefully he gets what he’s looking for. But what happens if he gets to July 1 and he finds out the Rangers had the best offer?

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  • Good by Prusty, You’ve been a good soldier but at 2.2 mills. a year we can do better than that by signing Conopka who is a better fighter,better face off man and a better hockey player.Hope you get what you’re asking for but not from the Rangers. Honestly,you are not worth that kind of money. 1.2 maybe but 2.2,it is absurd.

    • 1.2? You are telling me that he is worth less per year than mike rupp who makes 1.5 million per year? That is the floor for his contract. I think the 1.8 the rangers are offering is right on the mark

      • You can’t correct one mistake by making another. Most of us think that Sather signing Rupp to such high contract was a mistake and by giving Prust what he wants will restrict the Blueshirts for going after impact players. Don’t get me wrung, I love Prust for what he brings to the team but in the era of salary cap you need to be very carefull not to overpay and get yourself int a salaty cap bind.

  • Excellent post. Prust’s twitter post actually angers me a bit. It is one thing to play the negotiating game, but that post tells me Prust truly believes he deserves more… despite being a 4th liner coming off a rough year. He needs to take a long look in the mirror. I was a big fan of his too.

  • We are all in agreement. I though he earned a raise to $1.5 for 2-3 years. But to turn DOWN the New York Rangers, play in New York, at MSG, on the leading team in the EAST, and a solid chance to put your name on the Stanley Cup in the next 3 years?????

    Pruster you need to pull you head out of your A$$, nobody needs a 4th liner for that amount of money. There are alot of NHL players that can do what you do for 1/2 that salary.

    Good Luck Pruster, I’m still a fan, but the greed won’t get your name on the Cup.

    Now how about Jordan Staal, turns down 10years at $6M to play with his brother. I have an enormous amout of respect for that. What scares me about this deal, is that is opens alot of Cap space to sign Parise. If he becomes a Penguin the Rangers will have their hands full with Pittsburgh.

    Look at Jordon Staal, he turns

    • What would you do??? Everyone knows that you ask for more then your worth and then settle for less… As of right now thats all Prust is doing.

      • And what happens if Prust maintains this hard-line stance come July 1st, and the Rangers make a quick move and sign Konopka (my choice also)for somewhere in the 1.2 million range? Then Prust sees just how over-priced his demands were, and he has also lost the 1 team that would pay him more than he is worth.

        One can negotiate like Prust is doing, but the potential for it to explode in his face is very high.

  • It will be interesting to see what happens if other teams are equally sensible. Does Sather still let Prust have his generous $1.8M (hope not) – or does he take advantage of Prust’s weakened position.

  • First off its all baiting in a fealing out process. Its only words right now just like the Parise statement.

    But the Rangers have to stop screwing up as well. Paying losers like Rupp, Brashir and Boogs the kind of money they did And then low ball a work horse like Prust is plain bad for buisness.

    Now I dont want Prust signed for 2.2 mill But if your gonna go out and over pay others then dont screw over your loyal players.

  • I know it’s been mentioned, but let’s not forget Rupp being signed to a ridiculous contract. He’s washed up as far as I’m concerned, and he’s making 1.5 mm/year, which is just another Sather bungle for a 4th line player. And there’s no way they are going to be able to get rid of Rupp now. Who would take him for that price? No one.

  • Disappointed in Prust. He shouldn’t expect more than $1.8 for what his role is, nor for what he can bring to the table. $1.8 is generous, and he has an opportunity to continue playing for an elite eastern conference team with very tangible cup aspirations. He’s walking away from that for what, to get his unreasonable asking price turned down anywhere else he takes it? Not too well thought out.

    • I think the Rangers will pursue Konopka if prust leaves AND their backup plan is to keep Bickel in NY as a forward (in place of Prust) as he can fight; can go to the net; is big; and can be a defenseman when needed…..more flexibility. BUT I hope Prust does stay.

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