Forward Brandon Prust was vacationing with his fiancée in Rome this week when he got the news he was traded to the Vancouver Canucks by the Montreal Canadiens.
"Funny, I saw the headline [July 1 on Twitter], 'Zack Kassian traded to the Canadiens from the Canucks,' but I didn't see at first who he was traded for," Prust told the Montreal Gazette on Friday from his offseason home in London, Ontario.
Shortly after, Prust received a call from Montreal general manager Marc Bergevin, telling him he'd been traded to Vancouver for Kassian and a fifth-round pick in the 2016 NHL Draft.
"[My fiancée] had been putting her makeup on for dinner and now she's bawling her eyes out, and I'm lying there in shock," Prust said. "I had 100 text messages on my phone within 10 minutes. It was very overwhelming.
"It was just shock for the first little while. I texted my mom and dad (in London) and told them I'd just been traded. I didn't know if their phone would start ringing off the hook, people trying to call me."
Prust said he had no idea he would be traded after his third season with Montreal. The 31-year-old had four goals and 18 points in 82 regular-season games to help the Canadiens win the Atlantic Division, and had four points (one goal) in 12 Stanley Cup Playoff games.
"I had no clue. I know on July 1 there's a lot of action and I'm going into the last year of my contract," he said. "But after the playoffs I had, I didn't think there was any way they'd trade me.
"A few of the boys texted me. Their reaction was quite the same for everybody: They were in shock."
Prust, a third-round choice (No. 70) by the Calgary Flames in the 2004 NHL Draft, has one year remaining on a four-year, $10 million contract he signed with Montreal in the summer of 2012, following parts of three seasons with the Flames and 2 1/2 seasons with the New York Rangers. He had 39 goals, 108 points and 977 penalty minutes in 451 regular-season games, and two goals, 10 points and 116 penalty minutes in 53 playoff games.
He will play Montreal on Oct. 27 in Vancouver, and again on Nov. 16 at Bell Centre.
"Vancouver is going to be great, I've always enjoyed the city," Prust said. "I played against the Canucks a lot when I was with Calgary. The Vancouver organization is great and I've always liked playing in that building. I'm very blessed with the teams I've been fortunate enough to play for. I've played with some great teams and some great organizations, and Vancouver now is another one. I'm really excited."