Looks like Brandon Prust‘s time as a Canuck could soon be coming to a close.
Prust, who made waves last month about his displeasure with his role in Vancouver, was placed on waivers on Monday, per Sportsnet.
Back in mid-January, Prust was set to be a healthy scratch as Vancouver took on his former team, the New York Rangers.
Yet when the game arrived, Prust was in the lineup ahead of rookie Jake Virtanen — a move team president Trevor Linden described as a “delicate dance.”
“It wasn’t the plan,” said Linden of the decision to sit Virtanen. “We deviated for other reasons. It’s not ideal, obviously. He’s a young guy that was playing well, but we’re changing things up tonight. He’ll be back in against Boston (on Thursday).”
And what were those “other reasons”?
“Obviously, there was some talk about Brandon Prust coming out,” said Linden. “And being at his former team, we thought it’d be the right thing to have him in. As a coach, you want to do the right thing for your room sometimes.”
So, did Desjardins change his mind after he saw the way Prust reacted? Because, according to what was reported on the radio station, Prust didn’t take the healthy scratching very well.
“No, I just think, in retrospect, you have other thoughts, maybe you go down a certain path and you go back,” said Linden. “It’s a delicate dance with the coach and his group and his room [with] maybe the ideas that we may have, so we try to manage those things.”
One week after the incident in New York, Prust’s agent, Claude Lemieux, said that if things continued they way they were in Vancouver, his client would likely be on the move.
Acquired last summer in the Zack Kassian-to-Montreal trade, Prust, 31, is in the last of a four-year, $10 million deal with a $2.5 million cap hit.
If he goes unclaimed on waivers, it stands to reason he could be on his way to Vancouver’s AHL affiliate in Utica — where he’d be skating with another veteran carrying a reasonably large NHL salary: Chris Higgins, who’s been with the Comets for the last few weeks.
Lemieux told Vancouver’s News 1130 Prust will report to Utica if assigned.