There’s been enough said already about Brandon Prust’s hit that broke the jaw of Rangers forward Derek Stepan. What’s lost sometimes is that the two were teammates in New York and friends.
So just how did Prust approach Stepan following what happened? Via text, of course, and as Prust told reporters following Canadiens practice this afternoon, he’s hoping his friend is all right.
“I told him I feel awful,” Prust said. “I didn’t want to injure anybody, especially a friend of mine. I told him exactly what I told you guys. It was my first shift. I’m just trying to create some body contact. I feel awful. You never want to hurt anybody, and I hope he recovers well.”
Stepan is doubtful to play in Game 4 as Rangers coach Alain Vigneault said he was still in the hospital this morning recovering from jaw surgery. He reportedly needed a plate inserted into his jaw to help with the break.
As for whether he knew he’d be suspended or not because of the hit, the injury changed his opinion.
“Yeah, you know, if there’s no injury, I was thinking — I was thinking no games,” Prust said. “Once I heard that he had a broken jaw, I was thinking one, maybe two games. Yeah, once I heard about the injury, even when I looked at the hit after the game, I wanted to see the hit, and the timing never really came into mind. I was looking at the contact.”
Prust received a two-game suspension for his hit on Stepan and will be eligible to return in Game 6 if it’s necessary.