Prust proves you can always go home again

STEVE MACFARLANE, SUN MEDIA

, Last Updated: 12:38 PM ET

The calls flooded in to his cellphone as frequently as the Philadelphia Phillies scored against the Blue Jays at the baseball game Brandon Prust was watching yesterday in Toronto.

News travels fast.

"It's been blowing up," Prust said over the phone from the SkyDome as the Jays got trounced 10-0.

"I'm talking to (Calgary Flames winger Eric) Nystrom right now. He was the first one to text me."

Re-acquired by Flames GM Darryl Sutter yesterday in exchange for defeceman Jim Vandermeer during the second day of the NHL draft in Montreal, Prust was as happy to be brought back into the fold as he was disappointed to leave back in March.

The 25-year-old was dealt to the Phoenix Coyotes at the deadline as part of the Olli Jokinen trade.

"It's exciting to be back in Calgary, for sure," said Prust. "I really love that team and the organization. I was sad to go -- definitely happy to be back."

Teammates are equally enthused to see the return of the courageous and hard-working 6-foot, 190-lb. slugger, who was often the first to defend a fellow Flame regardless of the size of his opponent.

"He's a great friend and teammate and I'm psyched to have him back!" texted Nystrom between messages to his buddy.

"I know he was shocked and upset when he was traded, and so was I, but I think this shows how much the organization likes him."

Sutter, who selected Prust in the third round of the 2004 draft, got more than just a player he liked.

He also shed nearly $2 million of salary cap space that should help in his negotiations with pending unrestricted free agent defenceman Jay Bouwmeester, picked up earlier yesterday in a deal with the Florida Panthers.

A few hours later, Prust got a call from Coyotes GM Don Maloney.

"Then the Calgary guys all started calling me," Prust said with a laugh.

It all came as a bit of a shock.

"Didn't really think anything like this would happen. It's definitely a surprise," he said. "I was thinking Phoenix or Hamilton, now I'm back in Calgary."


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