In the middle of talking about his contract status, Yevgeny Malkin – Not Mentioned – Another outstanding commentary free agent on Penguins’ List.
“hopefull Brian Rust “He signs here,” Malkin said. “He’s a great player.”
With an amazing story.
It started with the winger as a marathon prospect after being drafted by the Penguins in the third round in 2010. Rust then emerged as one of the youngsters who became major contributors to back-to-back Stanley Cups in 2016 and 17.
Along the way, he’s transformed himself from a versatile, bottom-six energy player into a top-six attacking winger, with Mike Sullivan saying on numerous occasions that he’s never seen a player develop his game as well as Rust did.
“It’s unbelievable,” he said. Jason Zucker, who had known Rust for a long time, was also on the USNTDP from 2008-10. “He’s a guy you’ve always wanted. He’s one of those guys who helps the team in every way off the ice, on the ice, but his story is incredible. In the juniors, our penalty shootout target, the 3rd/4th row man… Seeing the player he turned into is a no-no. Believe “.
Rost, who turned 30 on May 11, just ended the final season of his four-year contract after hitting 20 goals for the third consecutive season. His 156 points (73G-83A) have been exceeded in 171 matches in just the same time period Sidney Crosby (193), Jake Goentzel (184) and Chris Letang (157).
“You look at the experience he’s got now, he’s not where he came from when we’ve been running a few runs in a row,” Crosby said. “He’s a guy who’s played in a lot of different situations, a lot of big games and he’s shown that he can go a long way. I think he’s just an all-around player, and someone who has kind of improved in every area, really, since he entered the league.”
Another thing that Penguins’ head coach often mentions is the culture of excellence established by the core leadership trio of Crosby, Malkin and Letang. Sullivan feels that Rust is someone who helped maintain this, saying he’s already developed his own leadership skills.
“Rustie is one of those guys who I think has not only benefited from that culture but also begun to share in that responsibility of making sure we all live up to the excellence that is created here,” Sullivan said. “That’s what he means, I think, for our organization. He’s a very good player. It’s been a great year for us. He’s been an important part of this organization.”
He’s grown up off the ice, married his wife Kelsey in the summer of 2019, and the couple welcomed son Hunter in June 2021. And when Rust thinks about their future, he needs to be in a place where they can feel comfortable. And happy – and that’s exactly the case here in Pittsburgh.
“I’d like to get back into the team,” said Rust. “Obviously I love it here. Pittsburgh is a place I’ve been living in for a while, and it’s a place where I had a lot of memories and started my family here and all that stuff. So this place holds a special place in my heart. I obviously want to do something to come back to. here “.
Video: Rost talking to the media
Family is priority number 1 for rust. From there, it’s about getting to a point where Rust feels he’s given what he’s earned and what he’s worth. Rust was on the hook when he was helping the Penguins win their back-to-back championships, and from there, his four-year deal averaged $3.5 million—which turned out to be an absolute steal.
“I think I’ve played at a higher level than what my contract says in the last few years, and I think going forward, just getting something that’s fair and can benefit me and my family,” Rust said.
This number may look different here in Pittsburgh than it does elsewhere, Malkin also mentioned another good point which is that a lot of guys want to stay with the Penguins because they are a world class organization. As Rost said with a smile, he’s not looking to rob anyone.
“I only want what I see as a fair and reasonable contract,” Rust said. “I’d like to think something will be worked on here.”
So do the rest of his colleagues.
“He’s an incredible guy, and he’s done so much for this organization too,” said Defensesman Chad Rowedel She said. “A great player, really good on both sides of the disc. I’m optimistic we’ll get him back, and we definitely want him, that’s for sure.”