A fan favorite's days in New York appear to be dwindling.
According to Larry Brooks at the NY Post, General Manager Glen Sather does not appear to be willing to re-sign gritty winger Brandon Prust, who will become an unrestrict free agent on July 1.
Reports indicate Prust is seeking a three-year deal worth about $6.6 million, a hefty raise from his current deal of $800,000 per year. Brooks states the Rangers are offering about $1.2 million less than that.
"I don't think we're going to get that one done," Sather told the Post of signing the 28-year-old forward. "I like him, the team likes him, everybody likes him...but I'm not married to him."
Prust tied for the NHL lead with 20 fighting majors last season, and has been a mainstay on the penalty kill the last two years for the Rangers.
On Saturday, Prust — who must have read Brooks' story — Tweeted, "I wish management wanted me back as much as the fans.. Thanks for the love everyone."
It would be tough to lose Prust, but his asking price is just too high. He took a step back, and even if that was attributed to injuries, he just isn't worth that kind of money. There are options out there to fill the hole he would leave, including Zenon Konopka, who was a pest against the Rangers throughout their opening round against Ottawa. The former New York Islander is also superb on faceoffs, which is an achiles heel for the Blueshirts.
Brooks also reports that the Rangers have "received a significant number of inquiries" regarding Brandon Dubinsky. He said if the Rangers are unable to acquire a big-time goal scorer like Rick Nash, Bobby Ryan or Zach Parise, the Rangers will most likely keep the 26-year-old, whose trade value is low due to his poor season.
Speaking of Ryan, the Anaheim Ducks don't appear to be willing to take Dubinsky in return becuase they want to shed salary. Brooks said they are targeting Derek Stepan, but the Rangers aren't willing to part with their 22-year-old center who is entering his third season with the team.
It was obvious that Dubinsky's trade value would be in the cellar after the season he had. It's a big blow if the Ducks aren't willing to take on that contract, as he would be the odd-man out if they acquire a big goal scorer. The Rangers really have big plans for Stepan if they aren't willing to part with him for seemingly anything.