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Grit continues to be the name of the game for the Habs as they have signed Brandon Prust to a 4 year, $10 million contract. It's a pricey move for a player who will basically fill a fourth line and penalty kill role but he was believed to be one of the most sought after bottom-six free agents on the market.
2010-11 was a career year for the 6'0 winger as he potted 29 points along with 160 PIMS in 82 games while playing nearly 14 minutes per game. Last year his role decreased as did his scoring numbers; he played just under 12 minutes per game while picking up 17 points (5 goals and 12 assists). His penalty total didn't change much, however, as he spent 156 minutes in the sin bin. He also has played in 24 playoff games over the past two years.
Prust has gained a lot of attention for his fighting prowess. He dropped the gloves 20 times in 2011-12 and another 18 the previous year. Neither of those compare to his career high of 25 which he set between Calgary and New York in 2009-10. He led the league in fights last season while he was in the top-5 in each of the two years before that.
The deal gives Montreal another physical winger to go along with recently signed Colby Armstrong, and recently re-signed incumbents Travis Moen and Ryan White. White and Prust have both played centre in the past but have been converted to the wing in past seasons. Unlike Montreal's two previous signings on Sunday, he has not played for Michel Therrien in his career. There are reports that he did meet Therrien early on Sunday as the new bench boss apparently went to meet with the new Montreal winger personally.
The reported salary breakdown of his contract is as follows:
2012-13: $3 million
2013-14: $2.5 million
2014-15: $2.5 million
2015-16: $2 million
If you'd like to brush up on his fighting history, here is his fight card from last season.
- Francis Bouillon returns to Montreal posted by B. La Rose
- Colby Armstrong signs a 1 year deal posted by B. La Rose