Kukla's Korner Hockey
Entries with the tag: chris pronger
from Pierre LeBrun of ESPN,
Al MacInnis saw the young man grow into a superstar in front of his own eyes.
"Chris Pronger was the total package," the Hall of Fame defenseman said. "Was there a weakness in his game? When he was in his prime, I certainly couldn't find one."
But it wasn't always easy for the 6-foot-6 behemoth of a defenseman. From a turbulent start in Hartford, to getting booed in his first year in St. Louis, to a trade demand in Edmonton and a career-ending injury in Philadelphia, what has made Pronger's superstar NHL career all the more impressive is that it came while overcome numerous obstacles, perhaps more than most people realize.
"The best things in life aren't easy," Pronger, 41, said during a recent one-hour interview. "My career kind of sums that up. From the start of it to the end of it, there were a lot of twists and turns, a lot of different adversities. Having overcome those, it makes you stronger."
Undoubtedly, it also provided Pronger the edge in his game and persona that made him one of the league's most feared players while also one of its most talented.
from Tom Timmermann of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch,
There were boos when Chris Pronger first arrived in St. Louis, the product of fans liking Brendan Shanahan — the player the Blues traded away to get him — more than they liked him. There was the time he took a puck to the chest and his heart stopped on the ice. There were the concussions that ended his career prematurely and finally, there was the bylaw change that made him eligible for the Hockey Hall of Fame before he had officially retired from the game.
It’s been no ordinary path to enshrinement for Pronger.
“I think nothing I’ve done has been the easy way,” Pronger said Monday after he was announced as part of the Hall of Fame’s 2015 induction class. “This would follow suit. I’m excited and proud to be part of this group.”...
“He was a warrior out there on the ice,” Lidstrom said Monday. “You knew he would play more than half the game. He was a tough guy to play against. Whether he was on the power play or killing penalties, he was going to be one of those players you had to beat to beat St. Louis. Those were great battles. It was like a playoff game every time we played.”...
Pronger acknowledged Monday that, with the changes in the rules since he broke in, there isn’t really anyone in the league who plays the way he did, which he admitted might not be a bad thing.
“With the evolution of the game and now with more medical research,” he said, “we understand hits to the head, illegal hits to the head, better. Most of the guys in the game today have gone through this in junior or college hockey and there’s a much greater awareness of the ramifications that result in hits like that. It’s hard to put into words other than the fact the game isn’t played that way anymore. It’s played with more regard for fellow competitors. We grew up in a different time and age. We did what we had to to win a hockey game. Now it’s so much more difficult to play on the edge the way I did.”
GLENDALE, ARIZONA – Arizona Coyotes General Manager Don Maloney announced today that the Coyotes have acquired defenseman Nicklas Grossmann and the contract of defenseman Chris Pronger from the Philadelphia Flyers in exchange for forward Sam Gagner and a conditional fourth round draft choice in 2016 or a third round draft choice in 2017.
The 30-year-old Grossmann registered 5-9-14 and 32 penalty minutes (PIM) in 68 games with the Flyers in 2014-15. The 6-foot-4, 230-pound native of Stockholm, Sweden has recorded 10-69-79 and 288 PIM in 531 career NHL games with the Flyers and Dallas Stars. Grossmann was originally drafted by the Stars in the second round (56th overall) in the 2004 Entry Draft.
Gagner collected 15-26-41 and 28 penalty minutes in 81 games with the Coyotes last season.
from Frank Seravalli of the Philadelphia Daily News,
What's the best way to bury embarrassing news in the hockey world?
Send out a press release at 6:46 p.m. on a Friday, before a long, holiday weekend, that completely skirts the issues at hand.
That's what the NHL attempted to do last week, with today being Thanksgiving in Canada, to complete their icky hiring of Chris Pronger in the Department of Player Safety.
Conveniently, the press release failed to mention that Pronger is still on the Flyers' roster. Or that he is still owed another $5.15 million from the Flyers, payable through April 2017....
The league did nothing - and nothing to quell the clamoring from fan bases who know this situation reeks. In fact, they decided to overlook their own Collective Bargaining Agreement, specifically Article 26, which states that no player paid by a team may also work for the league.
In hiring for a position designed to uphold the rules, the NHL broke one of its own - and then skated away like nothing ever happened.
... just because Pronger is recusing himself from incidents involving the Flyers (not that there are ever any of those), that does not mean his opinions won’t have dramatic impact on the Flyers. Every time he weighs in on an incident involving a conference rival, it has a direct impact on the Flyers’ playoff situation. Every time a player in the East is suspended (or not), it impacts the Flyers.
This hiring is so riddled with conflicts it would be beyond belief if it were happening anywhere else but the NHL. But this is the same league that allowed Brian Burke to work for two teams at the same time a couple of years ago. It is the same league that gave its exclusive United States television rights for 10 years to the company owned by — wait for it — Mr. Snider.
-Larry Brooks of the New York Post where you can read more on this plus some escrow talk too.
Pronger is bright and has credibility because of his achievements as a Cup winner, five-time All-Star and two-time Olympic gold medalist, but allowing him to work for the NHL while still being paid by the Flyers is too big a conflict of interest to be ignored. The NHL should be commended for bringing former players into the disciplinary process. But not this former player while he’s still on a team’s payroll.
-Helene Elliott of the LA Times where you can read more on this topic.
Pronger is a well-spoken, insightful athlete and he has the same commanding presence off the ice as he had on. A rugged player his entire career, Pronger clearly will be able to understand what the accused players were thinking when they committed the act that got them in trouble. This is someone who will bring plenty of experience and wisdom to the office.
Anyone who thinks that hiring Pronger to work in this department is a bad decision simply doesn't know him well enough.
-Kevin Allen of USA TODAY where again you can read more on this controversial hiring.
from Nicholas J. Cotsonika of Yahoo,
He will not offer input on incidents involving the Flyers, just to be safe – just as Patrick Burke does not offer input on incidents involving Brian Burke’s team, the Calgary Flames. What about incidents involving other Metropolitan Division teams or even other Eastern Conference teams? Will his Flyers connection cloud his judgment?
“No,” Pronger said. “Absolutely not.”
Why should anyone trust him?
“They don’t have to trust me,” Pronger said. “They can gauge by what I do. But at the end of the day, I’ve got to be honest with you, none of this is my call. Stephane Quintal is the head of the player safety department. He’s the one that ultimately makes the decision. I’m not going to be able to go in there and make them do what I want.”
This could be a great story. Pronger knows what it’s like to be suspended, but he also knows the pain of brain trauma. Asked if his experience with concussions gives him a new appreciation for player safety, he said: “I think it does.” He started to talk about his lingering symptoms. But then he stopped.
NEW YORK (Oct. 10, 2014) -- Five-time NHL All-Star, two-time Olympic gold medalist and Stanley Cup champion Chris Pronger has joined the National Hockey League’s Department of Player Safety, NHL Senior Vice President Player Safety Stephane Quintal announced today.
The second overall selection in the 1993 NHL Draft, Pronger ranked among the League's most decorated stars over his 18-season playing career with the Hartford Whalers, St. Louis Blues, Edmonton Oilers, Anaheim Ducks and Philadelphia Flyers. He was named to the NHL All-Rookie Team with the Whalers in 1994, won the Hart Trophy (League MVP) and Norris Trophy (best defenseman) with the Blues in 2000, captured the Stanley Cup with the Ducks in 2007 and led the Oilers and Flyers to the Stanley Cup Final in 2006 and 2010, respectively.
Pronger appeared in five NHL All-Star Games, served as captain for three clubs (Blues, Ducks and Flyers) and recorded 698 points (157 goals, 541 assists) in 1,167 regular-season games from 1993-94 through 2011-12. Internationally, the Dryden, Ont., native skated for Canada at the IIHF World Junior Championships (1993), World Championships (1997) and in four consecutive Olympics (1998, 2002, 2006 and 2010), winning gold in 2002 and 2010.
No matter what safeguards are in place when the league is forced to suspend a Pittsburgh Penguin or a New York Islander or New York Ranger, there will be a shadow of doubt about Pronger's role. For a league that has had so much going for it on the ice and in the boardrooms, it is a curious move to make a hire that is already arching eyebrows around the NHL for its strangeness.
The league somehow managed to move beyond the sometimes embarrassing and at times potentially damaging situation of having former league disciplinarian Colin Campbell preside over supplemental discipline in spite of the fact his son Gregory played in the league.
Why the league would choose to court similar distractions and negative press is more than a little baffling.
-Scott Burnside of ESPN where you can read more on this topic.
So one’s initial response to the news that Pronger, not yet retired but unable to play again, is interviewing for a position with the NHL’s Department of Player Safety is to say, “Seriously?”
Gales of laughter might then ensue when it was confirmed that, yes, he’s a candidate to fill the position left open by the departure of Brian Leetch.
One all-star defenceman for another, as it were.
So what, was Todd Bertuzzi not interested? Were Bryan Marchment, Chris Simon and Dave (The Hammer) Schultz otherwise engaged?
If Dan Carcillo, Matt Cooke, Steve Ott and Maxim Lapierre weren’t still playing would they be getting interviews, too?
-Damien Cox of Sportsnet on Chris Pronger being considered for a Department of Player Safety position. Read more on this topic.
Re Chris Pronger & NHL Dep't Player Safety: This is not difficult. He is a Flyers' employee. He is on Flyers' roster. End of discussion.
I know, maybe Brandon Dubinsky can fill in working for Dep't of Player Safety while he's on IR.
-Larry Brooks via Twitter.
added 6:06pm, also from Brooks..
This just in: Bobby Clarke is one of the refs for tonight's Flyers-B's opener in Boston.
from Nick Cotsonika of Yahoo,
The All-Star defenseman and Stanley Cup champion has interviewed for a job in the DPS and is at the top of Quintal’s list to replace the departed Brian Leetch. He would be part of the team that analyzes plays, participates in hearings and gives input to Quintal, who makes the final decisions.
Pronger would be a controversial choice for two reasons:
-- One, he racked up 1,916 penalty minutes in the regular season and playoffs combined over his 18-year NHL career. He was suspended eight times for a total of 22 games – 20 in the regular season and two in the playoffs. The infractions? Slashing. High-sticking. Leaving the bench to join an altercation. Cross-checking. Kicking (twice). Hitting the head (twice).
Amongst this afternoon's news, Twitter version:
The Edmonton Journal's Jim Matheson penned a particularly prolific set of Hockey World columns and blog entries (so much so that I'm stealing one for my Malik Report blog), and we're going to start sifting through four separate columns/entries' worth of observations and nuggets of wisdom with a question that many have pondered but few have tried to analyze:
Is there any logical way in which the Washington Capitals and Alexander Ovechkin can engage in a civilized "divorce" (and/or removal of that heavy captain's "C"), or is the team, "Married to Alex Ovechkin for life?"--to the detriment of an increasingly rotating cast of coaches, goaltenders and complementary players?
Since the Gretzky trade/sell to the LA Kings in 1988, we all know anybody can get dealt, although that’s Leonsis’s call, and the question is how many people would give up their tickets to games if Ovie wasn’t there. There’s 100s of people in Caps’ No. 8 jerseys at games in Washington. But, winning often trumps player loyalty and in the time Ovechkin has been with the Caps, they have won three playoff rounds in, this, his 10th year.
Filed in: | KK Hockey | Permalink
Tags: alex+ovechkin, anaheim+ducks, calgary+flames, chris+pronger, derek+roy, dustin+byfuglien, evander+kane, mike+green, ryan+miller, st.+louis+blues, teemu+selanne, vladimir+konstantinov, washington+capitals, winnipeg+jets
from Tim Panaccio of CSNPhilly,
Chris Pronger walks a fine line between working for the Flyers in a scouting capacity and sitting in on meetings with management, all the while being a dues-paying member of the NHLPA.
Such is the life of a former player, struck down by post-concussion syndrome, and living between two worlds -- permanently disabled player and club scouting.
“I have yet to be told what my duties are,” said Pronger, who still suffers from headaches from an ocular concussion, and likely will for the rest of his life.
“As still an active player and a dues-paying member of the [NHLPA] and all that, I know my role will be somewhat limited still in what I can and can’t do," Pronger said on Thursday at Flyers training camp.
Pronger is not an active player in the true sense. He can’t retire without harming the Flyers' salary infrastructure. Under the CBA, they would be stuck with his near-$4.9 million cap hit for the remaining four years of his contract without the ability to place him on LTIR.
from Brian Cazeneuve of Sports Illustrated,
It is a sad way for a great and likely Hall of Fame career to end, but to Pronger's credit, he also spoke thoughtfully and forcefully about the future, even one with such uncertainty because everything from his vision to his train of thought may never quite return to normal. He talked about what constituted a victory, or what he called "a winning streak": consecutive days without strong headaches and symptoms. He's been pushing himself to work out, move around, and be with people more in order to improve the quality of his life and reduce the stress on his family, even if that means aggravating his symptoms more often than he would like.
from Sam Carchidi of the Philadelphia Inquirer,
Flyers defenseman Chris Pronger should have had a stirring retirement celebration before Thursday night's game against Pittsburgh, saluting a career that will undoubtedly put him into the Hall of Fame.
Instead, the charade continued....
Earlier Thursday, during a news conference at the Flyers' practice facility in Voorhees, Pronger talked about trying to make a return from post-concussion syndrome.
Pronger, 38, knows his career is done. So do Flyers officials. Heck, even Pronger's doctor, a concussion specialist from the University of Pittsburgh, said he has advised the defenseman to never play again because of "significant" medical vulnerabilities.
Yet, the charade continues because of the NHL's ludicrous cap rules.
Change the rules. Stop the charade.
from Joe Pelletier of Greatest Hockey Legends,
Pronger's physical prowess allowed him to play seemingly half the game. He was a mainstay on both the power play and penalty kill units, and often double shifted at regular strength. Not only was he a game breaking defenseman but he was arguably the top shutdown defenseman of his era. He always played against the top forwards every night. None of his near 28 minutes a night were easy.
The most amazing thing about Chris Pronger, in my estimation, was his ability to control the pace of the game. Late in his career he was criticized for being too slow or too old. It did not really matter, as he could read the ice and the flow of the game as well as anyone in the modern era. He seemingly slowed everything down and then when he lulled everyone to his desired level he'd shoot a bolt of lightning into the game, often in the form of a dagger-like pass for a quick break. Old timers tell me the only player that they saw control the pace of the game so well was the great Doug Harvey.
from Frank Seravalli of Frequent Flyers at the Philadelphia Daily News,
Pronger, 38, has understandably not addressed the media or the public about his ultimate career-ending eye injury until now. There isn’t much he’s allowed to say.
He gave his first interview to close family friend, Rogers Sportsnet analyst Dan Murphy in a two-part series which will air beginning Wednesday night in Canada....
Pronger was struck in the eye on Oct. 24, 2011 against the Maple Leafs, when Mikhail Grabovski’s errant stick caught him. His reaction was not all that different from the one you saw Tuesday night at Madison Square Garden, when Marc Staal writhed on the ice in pain. Pronger’s painful shrieks were audible from the press box, in an ultra-quiet Wells Fargo Center.
It was a sound you never forget as a journalist, one that still gives you chills. He never recovered from that stick to the eye, which may have resulted in an ocular-nerve concussion, and returned too soon.
“What happened was, I had 30-year-old eyes. I got hit and the doctor told me I had 60-year-old eyes,”Pronger said. “I don’t have very good peripheral vision. That so-called sixth sense? I used to have a really good one. Now, I couldn’t feel anyone coming around a corner.
“My kids scare me all the time.”
from Mark Spector of Sportsnet,
from Frank Seravalli of Frequent Flyers,
Flyers general manager Paul Holmgren has been dogged repeatedly for updates since announcing on Dec. 15, 2011 that Pronger would miss the remainder of the season for “concussion-like symptoms.”
Just this week, Holmgren told a reporter that Pronger - who recently visited a neurologist at the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center - that he is “doing better but not to the point where he can think about playing.” In fact, Pronger probably had to see the doctor in Pittsburgh to sign papers for the NHL that he remained unfit to play.
Pronger, who turns 38 on Oct. 10, has not skated since Nov. 19, 2011 in Winnipeg. Holmgren also said it was “too soon” to tell whether Pronger could consider skating again.
There is a reason Pronger has not addressed the media once since being sidelined. No one can say anything further.
Since Pronger’s 7-year, $34.45 million extension with the Flyers kicked in after his 35th birthday, the Flyers are on the hook for his full salary cap hit should he or the club hint that he is retiring or formally sign the papers.
from Tim Panaccio of CSNPhilly,
Every day at home in South Jersey, it’s a constant struggle for Lauren Pronger and her husband Chris, and their family.
“We have a lot of help,” she said. “And we need it.”
Lauren Pronger, who is co-chairman of the Flyers Wives Fight for Lives Carnival, said Sunday that there has not been any substantial change, either positive or negative, to Chris’ post-concussion syndrome since she last spoke in January.
She also admitted that, for the first time, her family is considering reaching out to Keith Primeau who has been suffering from post-concussion syndrome for six years, because her and Chris want to know what life may be like if he never gets better.
“That has been brought up a lot lately,” she said. “There are a lot of parallels between the two [men]. I think Chris is starting to realize now that he should be in communication with him.
from Eric Duhatschek of the Globe and Mail,
Thanks to all those suspensions over all those years, and his willingness to fence – physically and otherwise – with anyone who would come near, Chris Pronger has always been a polarizing figure for the almost two decades that he’s played in the NHL.
Nobody sums up the term “old school” better than Pronger, someone who hasn’t been involved much in the NHL’s concussion discussion. Not until Thursday night, anyway, when his boss, Philadelphia Flyers general manager Paul Holmgren, took the unprecedented step of announcing that Pronger’s concussion symptoms are so severe that he has been ruled out for the rest of the regular season and playoffs.
Think about that.
This is mid-December. NHL playoffs generally stretch until nearly the end of June. So in the opinion of the two specialists who examined Pronger this week – and diagnosed him with “severe” post-concussion symptoms – they do not believe his condition will appreciably improve enough in the next six months to permit him to play again this season.
And given Pronger’s age (37), the truculent nature of his play, and the wear and tear on his body, it isn’t outside the realm of possibility to think that his distinguished career could be over.
via Nick Kypreos tweet,
Look for #Flyers 2 announce Pronger will be shut down indefinitely. No time line expected but some believe rest of season may be in jeopardy
added 5:35pm, via Bob McKenzie tweet,
After seeing concussion Drs., PHI’s Chris Pronger won’t be playing anytime soon and I won’t be surprised he doesn’t play rest of season.
added 8:00pm, via the Flyers website,
Flyers General Manager Paul Holmgren gave the following update on the status of Chris Pronger:
“After consultation with respected concussion specialists Dr. Joseph Maroon and Dr. Micky Collins, it is the opinion of both doctors that Chris is suffering from severe post concussion syndrome. It is the recommendation of Doctors Maroon and Collins that Chris not return to play for the Philadelphia Flyers for the remainder of the 2011-12 season or playoffs. Chris will continue to receive treatment and therapy with the hope that he can get better.”
note: this post was originally made at 4:17pm.
via the Philadelphia Flyers,
Flyers general manager Paul Holmgren made a statement concerning the injury status of defenseman Chris Pronger:
While Chris’ knee is improving, he has struggled with other issues that are concussion-like symptoms. Chris will see Dr. Joe Maroon and Dr. Mickey Collins on Wednesday, December 14th in Pittsburgh for further evaluation. Chris will be out indefinetly.
Holmgren also addressed the status of rookie forward Brayden Schenn, who has missed the last two games due to an upper-body injury.
Brayden reported “not feeling himself” on December 5th. Our doctors believe he has a mild concussion. Brayden will be out indefinitely.
via Sam Carchidi of Broad Street Bull,
In a conference call with reporters Thursday, Pronger said he was not quite over the virus and “I don’t know what’s going on.”
Pronger’s surgery was his fifth in 16 months. He said most of them werefluky, caused by getting hit with pucks, and implied he wasn’t breaking down because of his age.
The Flyers said he will be back in a little less than four weeks. Pronger said it could be three to six weeks.
If the Flyers were playing in the Cup Finals, Pronger said, he would not have had the surgery and would have played through the pain. He wants to be 100 percent for the rest of the season and the playoffs.
As for the virus, Pronger said he has been experiencing headaches and nausea like never before; he revealed he passed a concussion test.
from Frank Seravalli of Frequent Flyers,
After missing the last 4 games with a virus, Flyers captain Chris Pronger will have surgery on his left knee tomorrow.
No, that is not a misprint.
Pronger will have surgery tomorrow afternoon to “clean out some loose particles that have given Chris some problems over the last month or so,” according to general manager Paul Holmgren.
from Mike Brophy of Sportsnet,
“I didn’t know what to expect,” Pronger said upon entering the Flyers dressing room. “Every serious injury I’ve ever had has started with numbness and I was numb. The yellow liquid that I could see was obviously the blood. When you open your eye and your vision is very blurry, well, you expect the worst. Everything was distorted. My whole head was numb.”
Team doctors attended to Pronger and an eye specialist was summoned. Unfortunately it took about 90 minutes for the specialist to arrive. Pronger admits the whole ordeal was frightening.
“I didn’t know if I had lost my vision or if my eye socket had been crushed,” he said.
He iced the eye area for about 30 minutes and then for 15-minute intervals with five minute breaks. He said that helped, but he was very concerned about his blurry vision.
via Anthony J. SanFilippo of the Daily Times,
Chris Pronger just addressed the media for the first time since catching a stick to his right eye last Monday against Toronto.
He appeared to be in good spirits and didn’t look too bad considering. His right pupil was a little larger than it should be, but he’s on his way back - admitting he started riding the bike today.
SanFilippo also posted this video of the Pronger media scrum…
From Scott Burnside at ESPN:
Anyone who’s spent any time around National Hockey League rinks understands that hockey players are for the most part considerate, thoughtful people. There are many who are forward-thinking, articulate players and who can expound on any number of topics. Which makes it all the more mystifying when we see something as ghastly as Philadelphia Flyers captain Chris Pronger take a stick to the eye and learn that he will miss two to three weeks with an injury that could have been significantly worse and those same players remain moot on such an important issue.
Worse, how can a group of professional athletes have remained moot on this same health and safety issue for so long? The fact players have resisted efforts to impose a mandatory introduction of visors.
continued… plus more odds&ends from around the league
from the Flyers PR department,
With the team flying to Montreal today in preparation to take on the Canadiens tomorrow night, Flyers GM Paul Holmgren updated the status of captain Chris Pronger:
“Chris Pronger was seen by Dr. Stephen Goldman today and is progressing very well.”
Pronger did not make the trip to Montreal and continues to be on bed rest for the next three days.
more on the topic of visors…
via Randy Miller of Flyer Files,
Flyers captain Chris Pronger was injured in the first period of Monday’s game after being stuck in the face by the stick of Toronto Maple Leafs forward Mikhail Grabovski.
Pronger covered his face and immediately skated to the Flyers dressing room.
There was no penalty called on the play and Flyers fans booed loudly, but, by rule, the referees made the correct call because Grabovski hit Pronger on the follow-through of his shot.
The only update from the Flyers is Pronger will not return to the game.
added 8:24pm, video of the incident and you can hear Pronger in definite pain…
added 9:00pm, via Bob McKenzie tweet,
Pronger update: He is seeing an eye specialist but because of swelling, more time will be required for an evaluation. No further details.
added 10:40pm, via TSN,
Flyers general manager Paul Holmgren told TSN that Pronger was hit right beside an eye and saw an eye specialist at the arena. Pronger will be on bed rest for three to four days out of concern for possible blood pooling. The Flyers hope that Pronger will get back in two to three weeks depending on how the injury heals. The team said that Pronger will wear a visor when he gets back.
I am a bit suprised David Backes did not anticipate the hit from Chris Pronger.
via the Philadelphia Flyers website,
The Philadelphia Flyers have announced that defenseman Chris Pronger has been named the 18th captain in team history.
In addition, Danny Briere and Kimmo Timonen will wear the “A” as the alternate captains for the 2011-12 season.
The following is a statement from Flyers general manager Paul Holmgren:
“With Chris’ experience and presence, we felt that he was the perfect player to take over as captain of the Philadelphia Flyers.”
“Having Kimmo and Danny, both former captains in the NHL, serving as alternates, really gives us a strong, dedicated leadership group.”
“All three of these players know what it takes to win and are excellent role models both on and off the ice.”
Chris Pronger of the Philadelphia Flyers held a Q & A with the media today, discussing his recovery from hand and back surgery.
from Chuck Gormley of Flyer Files,
Q: Do you have pain now?
“Just sitting here talking to you guys, I have no pain. Other than my brain.”
Q: Are you confident the problem has been fixed?
“I am. I am, yeah. I hope so. That is the idea when you have these surgeries, that it’ll be fixed for good. But we do play a physical game and you know, we’ll see, but as I’ve said I am starting to feel a little bit better. You start rounding the corner, you’re able to ride the bike a little bit harder, you start to feel a little bit better about yourself, and you start get your energy level back and those sorts of things. You start to really kind of push yourself in the gym a little bit more, and as I said, once I start lifting weights I’ll be able to push myself even harder and see how I react and feel”
From Chuck Gormley of the Courier-Post:
Flyers defenseman Chris Pronger is progressing nicely from offseason back surgery, but he may miss the start of training camp, general manager Paul Holmgren acknowledged Friday.
Pronger had disc fragments in his lower back removed on May 12 and underwent surgery to repair a broken hand on March 15.
According to Holmgren, Pronger was examined by a back specialist and a hand specialist last week and was given permission to step up his rehab.
from Chuck Gormley of Flyer Files,
Is he among the elite goaltenders in your opinion?
Well, I think if yiou look at his play over the last three years you pretty much have to put him there. I don’t know. Who do you consider the elite goalies in the league?
Well, I think a lot of people will say Ryan Miller, Henrik Lundqvist, Tim Thomas. Is he in that category?
You probably have Miller, Lundqvist, Kiprusoff. Bryz, I would have to say, has done as much as those guys. If you want to start compare stats, I’m sure he compares quite well against all those guys.
Long before you got here I’m sure you heard about the Flyers’ need for a goaltender. Do you think this will finally silence those questions?
I don’t think it’s ever going to be silenced until we win a Stanley Cup. (Laughter) You laugh, but that’s what it’s going to take. It doesn’t matter if the guy goes out and wins the Vezina Trophy. If he doesn’t help the team win the Stanley Cup – at the end of the day that’s what we’re all graded on….
more plus a smaill update on Pronger’s health…
via Mike Brophy of Sportsnet at CityNews,
Philadelphia Flyers defenceman Chris Pronger will undergo surgery on his back Thursday.
The 36-year-old veteran blueliner appeared in just three of 11 playoff games for the Flyers this year due to a lower back problem and was limited to 50 regular season games because of numerous injuries.
Thursday’s procedure will be his fourth surgery in the past 12 months. Pronger had knee surgery last summer as well as further procedures on his knee and foot.
From Adam Kimelman at NHL.com:
Calling it “the year from hell,” Philadelphia Flyers defenseman Chris Pronger could learn in a matter of days if he’s going to need his fourth surgery in 10 months.
Flyers General Manager Paul Holmgren told CSNPhilly.com that Pronger could have a bulging or herniated disc in his lower back. The back injury, along with a hamstring pull, is what sidelined Pronger for the final three games of the Flyers’ conference semifinal series against the Boston Bruins.
Update 2:45pm ET: Transcript of Pronger’s conference call with the media today is here.
from Ray Parrillo of the Philadelphia Inquirer,
Flyers general manager Paul Holmgren declined to reveal details of Pronger’s injury before Monday’s game at the Wells Fargo Center.
“There is nothing to talk about,” Holmgren said through a team spokesman.
It was unclear whether Pronger’s absence was related to the broken right hand that sidelined him for the final 16 regular-season games and the first five playoff games, or if he has suffered another injury.
Earlier Monday, Holmgren said Pronger was “OK” even though the defenseman didn’t take part in the morning skate. In the final minutes of the Flyers’ 7-3 loss to the Bruins Saturday in Game 1, Pronger went up the tunnel to the locker room rather than remain on the bench with his teammates, an indication that something was wrong.
There has been speculation by some media outlets that the 36-year-old Pronger is having back problems.
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from Frank Seravalli of Frequent Flyers,
Pronger, meanwhile, did not skate with his teammates again on Monday at the Flyers’ Skate Zone in Voorhees. It is believed that Pronger has not skated at all since March 28, raising multiple red flags about why a hand injury would suddenly derail Pronger’s feet from continuing to move on the ice.
General manager Paul Holmgren said in an e-mail on Monday afternoon that Pronger remains day-to-day. He missed the last 16 games of the regular season with his right hand surgery, which was supposed to not only strengthen the small bone that was fractured but also prevent re-injury.
The Flyers worked almost exclusively on special teams on Monday, which included penalty killing ace Blair Betts on the ice with his teammates. Betts, who is nursing a lower-body injury, appears to be ready for Game 1. He missed the last 3 games of the regular season.
The good news, though, is that Pronger did partake in the Flyers’ power play meeting, which is a sign he could be available to play. Or not.
from Chuck Gormley of the Courier-Press,
Sidelined since March 8 with a broken right hand, Flyers defenseman Chris Pronger has endured a ``minor setback’’ that is likely to keep him sidelined until the start of the Stanley Cup playoffs, Flyers general manager Paul Holmgren told the Courier-Post Thursday night.
“It’s not going as fast as everybody would like, but he’s probably still on track … maybe not for the regular season, but for the playoffs,’’ Holmgren said before the Flyers’ game against the Atlanta Thrashers at the Wells Fargo Center.
Pronger had a stabilizing pin inserted in his right hand on March 14 and was told he would need 3 to 4 weeks before returning to the lineup. He returned to practice just a week after the surgery and was defending teammates and taking hard shots at practice as early as 10 days after the surgery.
“He did push it by handling the puck and actually shooting the puck,’’ Holmgren said. ``Nobody likes sitting out and maybe he thought he could come back sooner.’‘
The Philadelphia Flyers announced today that D Chris Pronger will undergo surgery on Tuesday, March 15 to repair a fracture in his right hand, according to general manager Paul Holmgren.
“Chris had a CT scan on his right hand on Sunday and a small fracture was discovered,” Holmgren said. “Our doctors believe surgery is the best route to take with the injury. Surgery will be done Tuesday morning in Cleveland by Dr. Tom Graham. Chris will be able to return to play in 3-4 weeks.”
from Frank Seravalli of Frequent Flyers,
Paul Holmgren says he is not worried.
But Holmgren, at the very least, admitted on Saturday night that “something is going on in there,” inside Chris Pronger’s right wrist.
Pronger sat out Saturday’s mind-boggling loss to the Thrashers, missing his second game in a row. Pronger was wearing a hard cast on his wrist on Saturday, though Holmgren said that was the same apparatus he’s been wearing on-and-off since blocking a shot against the Islanders on Feb. 24.
“There is obviously something going on in there that’s inhibiting the strength of it,” Holmgren said. “If you’re a hockey player and you can’t grip your stick, you’re going to have a hard time.”
from Sam Carchiddi of the Philadelphia Inquirer,
Flyers general manager Paul Holmgren acknowledged Friday that veteran defenseman Chris Pronger had chewed out 23-year-old all-star Claude Giroux after the team’s inartistic, 4-1 win over Edmonton on Tuesday.
Asked what he thought of the situation, Holmgren was blunt.
“I think it’s great,” he told reporters at the Flyers’ practice facility in Voorhees.
As reporters entered the locker room after Tuesday’s game, some could hear Pronger shouting, “Some people just don’t learn.”
The Flyers dominated the first period in that win over Edmonton - ending a four-game losing streak - but were soundly outplayed in the final 40 minutes.
“Nobody likes the way we’ve been playing, and it just came to a head in that particular instance, I’m sure,” said Holmgren, whose team hosts Atlanta on Saturday night, a game in which Pronger is questionable because of a sore right hand. “Just got to get on the same page. I’m assuming you’re talking about Chris and Claude, right? Claude Giroux wants to win, but sometimes he needs to hear from the older guys on the team that this is how it’s done.”
via Mike Brophy tweet,
Flyers defencman Chris Pronger to have foot surgery today at 1 p.m.
from Frank Seravalli of Frequent Flyers,
Fear not, Flyers fans: Pronger’s knee was apparently not impacted on Wednesday night - even though Pronger admits he has never been at 100 percent this season.
Pronger missed the third period after taking a shot to the foot late in the second period. Pronger played the final 53 seconds of the second period and did not return for the third. He played a total of 15:54 over two periods.
The video replays do not show a clear or noticeable shot to the foot.
Unfortunately, all we know for now is that it’s his foot. We have no idea as to the severity, if there is a fracture or any pain or swelling.
from Bill Fleischman of Flyers.com,
“He’s the ultimate pro,” Holmgren said. “He’s ready for every practice, every game. I think the younger players see that on a daily basis and have to be impressed.”
With Pronger’s years of experience, he knows how to pace himself. You rarely see him exert needless energy. As Flyers fans noticed in a recent game in Washington, Pronger also knows when to “go”. Late in the first period of the Flyers shootout victory, Pronger pursued the puck into the Washington zone and delivered a jarring check on Jeff Schultz.
“It’s understanding the game, understanding the flow of the game and when you need to do things,” Pronger said. “Going 100 miles an hour for a puck looks good, but if you have to wait for the play, there’s no point. It’s really about reading the play and knowing the defense is trying to do and you adjusting.”