For each player who suited up in a Blueshirt this season we will take the good, we will take the bad and take them both and see what we have. Today we look at tougher-than-Turcotte #8, Brandon Prust.
#8's #s: 26 games (with NYR), 4 goals (2 gwg), 5 assists, +3, 65 PIM.
Take the good: Prust went from a throw-in on the Jokinen deal to being one of the best Blueshirts down the stretch. He seemed to evolve from a one-dimensional goon to a forechecking power forward over the short span he was on Broadway and was 1/3 of the so-called "fourth line" that carried the team. His hard work at even strength and on the penalty kill earned him more minutes and he made the most of them. And he did it all for the sum total of $178,756; he made $500,000 on the year.
Take the bad: Prust is an RFA this summer and surely will command interest around the league. He was tied with Lappy for the second-most fighting majors in the NHL with 25. Seven of those fights came after the trade and Hockeyfights has him 3-2-2 which is certainly debatable. His tendency to reach behind him with his loose hand to hold onto the glass or boards was utterly infuriating. Before being paired with Arty and Shelley, he chugged along as a third line nothing or fourth line thug; what happens when he is lined up with other players and/or the ice time goes away?
Take them both and then we have: Someone who should be qualified as soon as possible. Say what you want about Sather, acquiring this kid was huge as he provided a spark and a toughness that Donald Brashear never did. Seeing that he is just 26, he certainly can grow to be a part of the young core of this team ... if he can maintain the same level of desire and effort, something we all know is difficult to do in New York City.