A couple of days after tendering Brandon Prust, the Rangers wasted little time getting the agitator to agree on a new contract with the two sides settling on a multi-year deal worth $1.6 million. A nice 800 K average for a gritty player who fit in right away after coming over from Calgary in the Olli Jokinen deal which sent Ales Kotalik and Chris Higgins packing last deadline.
Amazingly, Jokinen wound up back in Alberta- reuniting with Darryl Sutter while Prust remains on Broadway where they'll continue appreciating his lunch pail style. It was the rambunctious energy he played with that nearly rallied the Blueshirts to a fifth consecutive postseason. As it turned out, he could do more than use his fists, which ranked third in the league with 25 majors. Prust also scored and set up important goals down the stretch before Brian Boucher outperformed Henrik Lundqvist in the shootout, ending the Ranger run at four.
Now, Prust gets a new deal and will be expected to play that same role as the energizer who gets the team going while getting underneath opponents' skin. Kinda sounds like Sean Avery, who no doubt will have to be more consistent next season if the Rangers are to challenge for a playoff spot. Something which won't come easy with Atlantic powers Philly, Pittsburgh and New Jersey continuing to improve yesterday. The Rangers' chief rival the Islanders also got better today.
Thanks to the botched Derek Boogard move, Glen Sather has backed himself in a corner, leaving a shade under six million to get Marc Staal and Dan Girardi re-signed. It looks like it could be a while before anything gets done. Not to worry though. We have the 1.65 million slug for four years.