On July 1 while vacationing in Rome with his fiancee, Montreal TV host Maripier Morin, Brandon Prust noticed on Twitter that the Montreal Canadiens had acquired tough nut Zack Kassian from Vancouver.
He had no clue at that time who was going the other way.
Morin asked Prust who Kassian was.
“He’s kinda like a player like me,” Prust told her. “Gritty and pretty tough.”
“Oh, no. That’s not good,” Morin replied.
In denial, Prust told her Kassian would be a good fit for the Canadiens. One minute later, he saw Marc Bergevin’s name light up his cellphone: “Uh-oh.”
Prust, who racked up 134 penalty minutes in 2014-15, chuckled Friday morning when recalling the story to Dean Blundell & Co. on Sportsnet 590 The Fan.
As much as he loved playing in Original Six cities such as Montreal and New York, he says he’s happy to fly west.
“You can look at it in a negative way and say, ‘Oh, they didn’t want me,’ but also you can look at it in a positive way in that Vancouver was coming for you very hard and they want a guy like you,” Prust says. “That’s always a good feeling — that there’s teams out there pushing to make deals to get you.
“It’s gonna be fun. I’m excited. I know they got a good young team. I’ve heard a lot of good things about the coaching there.”
Prust and Morin’s relationship went prime time last season, when the latter featured prominently on the reality show Hockey Wives.
Morin’s career ties her to Montreal, so she wasn’t exactly thrilled with the deal. When Prust played for the Rangers, she rode the bus most weekends to visit him.
Both maintain that love conquers distance.
“I’m 31. It’s not like I’m 22. We don’t have a ton of time left,” Prust told Blundell. “We’re both very successful. That’s something we have to be proud of and just make it work.”