Kukla's Korner Hockey
Heck, a very slow news day so far, so why not watch Chris Pronger live today?
Flyers defenseman Chris Pronger will meet with the media today at noon. The press conference will be streamed live here on philadelphiaflyers.com. Also taking part will be Ed Snider, Peter Luukko and Paul Holmgren.
from Sam Carchidi of the Philadelphia Inquirer,
So what happened in three years to make the Flyers change Ed Snider’s philosophy and mortgage the future for soon-to-be-35-year-old Chris Pronger?...
“If it was just a normal veteran, we would not have given up youth for that,” Snider said the other night. “But it was Pronger.”
Snider, 76, said it with the reverence usually saved for a Sinatra, a Streep, or a Springsteen.
“He’s not a typical veteran,” Snider added. “He’s one of the greatest players of all time, and we could not turn it down because we needed him desperately.”
According to RDS (French), Ian Laperrière has been signed by the Philadelphia Flyers for 3 years, $3.5 million.
According to Sportsnet, the Philadelphia Flyers have signed Brian Boucher for 2 years, at $925,000 per year.
via Chuck Gormley of Flyer Files at the Courier Post,
With Wednesday’s free agency period looming, the Flyers and Mike Knuble continue contract talks today.
The Flyers are believed to be offering an incentive-based one-year dea with a base salary in the $1 million range. Knuble likely is seeking a two-year agreement with a higher base salary, probably in the $2 million range.
Look for the Flyers to land a goalie on Wednesday, perhaps veteran Brian Boucher or Scott Clemmenson or Ty Conklin and wait until later to sign a veteran free-agent center for the NHL minimum.
from Stan Fischler of Game On,
If they were the Broad Street Bullies before, the acquisition of Chris Pronger from Anaheim has turned them into the BROAD STREET BULLIES now.
This should inspire thought—if not concern—among the Rangers, Islanders and Devils; not to mention all points north and south.
Let’s not kid ourselves; this Incredible Hulk called Pronger is an unholy terror….
his was an incident last season in Anaheim; Devils vs. Ducks with only a couple of seconds left in a game long ago decided.
New Jersey’s ace, Zach Parise knew that the final buzzer was about to sound and let down his guard.
He did not bargain for Pronger who emerged from behind and delivered a devastating—as dirty as can be—crosscheck that felled the unsuspecting Devil.
Parise survived the blow—don’t ask me how—and Pronger escaped without a penalty, but that’s not the issue, although that is Pronger’s specialty.
from Dan Wood of Ducks Blog at the OC Register,
Booed mercilessly in nearly every NHL arena except his own, Pronger is perhaps the league’s most misunderstood individual. Certainly, he has crossed the line at times, as eight career suspensions attest, but fans who are convinced that Pronger is nothing but evil are severely misguided.
Pronger himself often fuels the perception that he is a bad guy, perhaps as something of a defense mechanism and undoubtedly to place further fear into the heads of opponents. Brief interactions with Pronger can definitely leave the wrong impression, as evidenced by an incident after one Ducks road game against the Minnesota Wild.
With a collection of reporters nearby, Pronger loudly stated that anyone interested should gather around because he was going to speak only once. Those who knew him thought nothing of it. It was just Pronger being Pronger.
from Sam Carchidi of the Philadelphia Inquirer,
A boatload of young talent was traded. Moreover, Pronger is in the final year of a contract that will pay him $6.25 million. There are no assurances that he will stay beyond this season, though Holmgren is eager to negotiate an extension, and Pronger’s agent, Pat Morris, is optimistic that a long-term deal can get done.
The trade also leaves the Flyers with precious little salary-cap space.
They are about $5 million under the new $56.8 million cap - and still have to add a backup goalie, a right winger (they want to re-sign Mike Knuble, who has drawn interest from the Penguins), and perhaps another defenseman and a fourth-line center adept at winning face-offs.
It is the second daring move Holmgren has made in the off-season. The first brought a controversial goalie, Ray Emery, whose low salary of $1.5 million and promise caused the Flyers to overlook his previous antics - and enabled them to afford Pronger.
from Kevin Kurz of PhiladelphiaFlyers.com,
“I made it sort of clear [and the end of the season] I would like to get a hammer, a guy who makes life miserable for the other team. This is one of those guys,” said the general manager. “I think we’ve made some strides in terms of revamping our defense over the last few years. You put Chris in our mix, and it makes our defense a good group.”
Pronger, who admitted he was not shocked at the trade, also thinks he will fit in perfectly with his new team.
“The style of the play that the Flyers have been known to play certainly fits my game,” he said via conference call. “They’ve got some great young talent and I hope to help not only develop the team into being one of the top teams in the league, but winning a Stanley Cup. I think that’s why we all play the game, is to win, and certainly the Stanley Cup is the pinnacle for our sport.”
from Tim Sassone of Between
The Circles at the Chicago Daily-Herald, “We talked and the price was a little too stiff for us to pay,” Tallon said. “It would have been some good prospects and some players off our roster. We weren’t willing to overpay for him. We like him and he’s a great player, but we want to make a commitment to our core players.”
That’s fine, but then Tallon said, “Philadelphia obviously feels they’re close.”
Wait a second. Aren’t the Hawks close too? The rebuilding is over. This is a 104-point team that went to the West finals and the goal should be winning a Stanley Cup next season because nobody knows what the shelf life of this group will be. Even if it might have cost two No. 1 picks and perhaps Niklas Hjalmarsson and another prospect, missing out on Pronger was not a good start to the off-season.
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Paul Kukla founded Kukla’s Korner in 2005 and the site has since become the must-read site on the ‘net for all the latest happenings around the NHL.
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