The Rangers opened up their training camp today, and of course, Derek Boogaard was on everyone’s minds, as it’s the first time the whole team has been together since the enforcer’s untimely death in May at the age of 28.
Brandon Prust, another one of the Rangers’ tough-guys, was asked if he thought the game should chance its stance on fighting after the deaths of Boogaard, Rick Rypien and Wade Belak over the course of the past four months.
“I’m pro-fighter,” Prust said. “I believe it should be in our game, and I don’t think anything should be changed. I think it’s what makes our game unique is that we can have the ability to police our own game. Obviously, the league steps in if it gets out of hand, if there’s a dirty hit. But if someone’s going after Gabby or Hank or Richie, I have to be – that’s my job to get in there and make sure they don’t do that. … It’s a tough job, but it’s a job I chose, and I love doing it. I love sticking up for my teammates and I love knowing that my teammates know that I’ll be there for them.”
It’s hard not to love this guy, who everyone believed was just a throw-in fourth-liner in the Ollie Jokinen trade a few seasons back. Sure, he is a fourth-liner, but if you watch him on a nightly basis like most of the people who view this blog, we know he’s so much more than that. He’s developed into a great penalty-killer and could even chip-in eight-to-10 goals this season. But it’s quotes like that one that make you really love the guy.
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