Montreal spends large for Prust — four years, $10 million

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There’s a reason it’s called the silly season.

The Montreal Canadiens have made one of the most eye-bulging moves of this young free agency period, signing New York Rangers forward Brandon Prust to a four-year, $10 million deal.

It’s an absolutely massive deal for Prust, who made $1 and $1.6 million on his last two contracts. The 28-year-old is coming off 5G-12A-17PTS in 2011-12, down from a stellar 2010-11 campaign that saw him register career highs in goals (13), assists (16), points (29) and average time on ice (13:49).

Habs GM Marc Bergevin might get lambasted for shelling $10 million for a guy with 24 career goals, but the signing does fit with his obvious goal over the last week — make the Canadiens tougher.

Bergevin re-signed Ryan White, Travis Moen, agreed to terms with Colby Armstrong and inked Prust, who has fought 38 times over the last two seasons.

Prust tied Boston’s Shawn Thornton with the most fighting majors (20) in the NHL last year.