The Toronto Maple Leafs gave veteran fourth liner Brandon Prust a chance this summer.
After a poor 2015-16 outing with the Vancouver Canucks, Prust found himself on the outs during NHL free agency. The 32-year-old left winger, who boasts 40 goals and 115 points in 486 career NHL games to his name, was unable to convince a team to give him a standard player contract for their upcoming campaign.
The Leafs signed him to a pro tryout agreement, though – and after a few weeks, although things ultimately haven’t worked out, he’s still being allowed to practice with the Atlantic Division squad.
It was confirmed on Monday morning by Leafs general manager Lou Lamoriello that Prust, who has been trying to earn a spot with the Leafs during preseason action, won’t be signing an NHL deal with the club this fall. Lamoriello added, though, that he’s been informed that he’s welcome to continue skating with the team in practice – just not as a signed player.
Drafted 70th overall by the Calgary Flames in 2004, Prust – a former London Knights skater from his major junior days – has played for Calgary, the Canucks, the then-Phoenix Coyotes, the New York Rangers, and the Montreal Canadiens. He may be able to add another team to that list in the future – but for now, we know that it won’t be Toronto.
The Maple Leafs will start their regular season on Wednesday, October 12th, when they’ll be hosted by the Ottawa Senators for a road game opener.