Thread: Confirmed with Link: Brandon Prust to Montreal [4 years, $10M]
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07-01-2012, 11:27 PM
Miller Time
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Originally Posted by Talks to Goalposts View Post
For one thing there is an upside to overpaying for skill that there isn't for overpaying for depth.

For the other, its because Montreal has a bunch of underperforming salary on the books that they can't diddle around tossing money to luxuries like Prust. They have serious needs, especially on LW that need addressing where 1 million can be the difference between getting someone serviceable or not given how tight Montreal's cap situation is going to be this summer.

Take Prust's salary and add what you paid for another depth D in Bouillion and you have 4 million. The price of a middle-tier player in this market like Souray or Parenteau or Penner. That's where the team really needs help right now.

Also Prust's biggest advantage over normal 4th liners as a player is that he's a good PK winger. Something the team had absolutely no need for with current personnel. In generally I reject the idea the team desperately needed Prust. I think his value to the squad is getting vastly over-stated.

My prefered alternative is something like McClement. 2 years shorter term, 1 million less and a solid defensive center that would solidify the 4th line. That was an actual need. With Prust we're talking about sub-optimally shifting over a winger or playing Nokialainen to center the 4th unit.
Obviously adding skill is the #1 priority, but let's get real here.

there is no upside to overpaying for anyone who underperforms...

the risk with overpaying for skill, is that if they underperform (as with Gomez), then it is incredibly difficult to (re)move them from the roster.

Plekanec was a big part of our PK, but it is certainly fair to suggest that relying on him as a primary PK player impacted his performance in other areas. In key times, no problem, but over the course of an 82 game season, having quality PK players that aren't also supposed to be key top-6 contributors is a good thing... Nothing wrong with adding a bottom-6 player who is a quality PKer, let alone having several of them (Moen, Prust, Armstrong...)

McClement would have been a decent addition, I agree, but Prust brings more to the table than McClement does, that's part of why he was holding out for the kind of deal we gave him (Rangers had a 3 year-6M$ deal on the table that he turned down apparently... giving him 500k more/year and 1 extra year isn't, imo, a gross overpayment by any means).

Habs, wether one chooses to acknowledge it or not, have had serious issues with getting pushed around and with being "easy" to play against. Yes, those aspects tend to get exaggerated at times, but that's not to say that they aren't issues.

It's a contact sport, intimidation is a very real element, and having enough players willing/capable of playing a physical game & stand up for them as needed is a very tangible benefit... one the habs sorely lacked under Gainey/Gauthier.

Prust/Armstrong/Moen/White... all guys that are tough and can play quality hockey (even if not top-6 "skill" level). in today's NHL that's a very nice asset to have (far better than Gainey's attempt to address the issue by signing the lone Laraque, or Gauthier's attempt in signing the lone Staubitz).

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