Brandon Prust was a guy the New York Rangers seemed to rally around this past season. He would drop the gloves with opponents, he played tough on the penalty kill, and was an all-around solid teammate. That doesn’t mean a whole lot to Rangers GM Glen Sather when it comes to negotiating a new contract.
“I don’t think we’re going to get that one done,” said the GM, whose club selected defenseman Brady Skjei from the USA-Under 18 Development Team with the 28th overall pick in the draft. “I like him, the team likes him, everybody likes him … but I’m not married to him.”
Breaking up is hard to do.
Prust is set to become an unrestricted free agent on July 1 and he showed he’s got skills other than just getting in scraps. In 2010-11 he had 13 goals, five shorthanded and this past season he tallied five goals, two of them while killing penalties. Someone will be hot after him come July 1, but it won’t be the Rangers.
“Nope,” Dubinsky said. “You know, I’ve played the same way my whole career and I’m not going to change. The next time I have an opportunity to play (Crosby), I’m going to play him hard.”
In case you’re wondering, that next opportunity comes on Dec. 21 in Pittsburgh, assuming that both players are healthy and not suspended.
One can understand Dubinsky’s perspective, although such honesty would be that much more interesting if there’s another incident with Crosby. His initial reaction to the hit was interestingly candid, admitting that his “stick rode up” on his adversary.
Would that stance – which, from a harsher view, might seem flippant to Dubinsky’s critics – open the door for a bigger future bit of a discipline?
Maybe, maybe not … but at least his comments aren’t as inflammatory as what John Tortorella said (at least on the record).
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