Brandon Prust has been a controversial figure on social media since his retirement, often times outspoken with opinions that go against the grain. But it’s hard to argue his popularity while he was with the Montreal Canadiens.
On July 1, 2012, Montreal Canadiens general manager Marc Bergevin made his first splash in free agency by signing Prust to a four-year contract with a total value of $10 million. Bergevin specifically sought out Prust in order to bring grit to the Canadiens, and grit Prust brought. The three-years he spent in Montreal all rank as the team’s top three for most penalty minutes taken in a season in the Bergevin era, (2014-15: 134 minutes, 2013-14: 121 minutes, 2012-13: 110 minutes). Prior to his fourth and final contracted season, Prust was traded to Vancouver for Zack Kassian, who never actually played a game for Montreal.
Prust was a popular player among his teammates because he made it clear that he would go to battle for them. He would certainly demonstrate that old-time hockey mentality of the John Fergusons and Chris Nilans of Canadiens lore, ready to get physically tangled with an opponent. As hockey continues to trend away from fighting, Prust continues to defend its place in the game, lambasting those he interacts with.
Prust joined Tony Marinaro on the latest edition of The Sick Podcast, giving his thoughts on the Canadiens/Maple Leafs series, Corey Perry answering the bell with Nick Foligno, strongly criticizing Jesperi Kotkaniemi for flashing the four horsemen fingers after his goal in Game 2, and giving a lot of praise to Brendan Gallagher and Carey Price.