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Pronger’s Career Could Be Over

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.


Filed in: NHL Teams, Philadelphia Flyers, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: chris+pronger


Mike from Austin's avatar

I’m sorry but this concussion stuff is getting ridiculous. We know so little about what is really going on. Maybe they should just make the game no contact until we know what is really happening.

Posted by Mike from Austin on 12/16/11 at 04:04 AM ET

Baroque's avatar

The interesting thing is that I doubt there are more concussions now than there have ever been before, just that teams and players know enough about what they are to diagnose them properly.

It makes me wonder how many concussions hockey players now retired have had, and how many problems some of them encountered in retirement were due partially to dealing with the aftermath of concussions. We’ve all heard stories of some players in retirement who made really poor business decisions and lost everything, or got way too much into drinking… some of that might have been dealing with symptoms of post-concussion including attempting self-medication with alcohol.

Sad to think of a retired player not feeling quite “right” but not knowing exactly what was wrong. At least now there is recognition of the problem and they can put a name to it. Not much, but it’s a start. :/

Posted by Baroque from Michigan on 12/16/11 at 09:11 AM ET

Evilpens's avatar

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.

HMMM sounds like what I said when he 1st went out of the lineup & was called Clueless by SOME Amway Wings fans

I said playing 25+ minutes a Game & sometimes 30 Had caught up to him & at his age he can’t do that anymore

Posted by Evilpens on 12/16/11 at 10:10 AM ET

redxblack's avatar

Troll harder. The point of that statement wasn’t that old people can’t play, but that his career is in the twilight years anyway and that a comeback is unlikely. It isn’t unlikely because he’s older, but because he’s hurt AND plays so physically.

Posted by redxblack from Akron Ohio on 12/16/11 at 10:34 AM ET


This is getting scary.  I am really starting to fear for this sport and, more importantly, those who play it. Yet last night on the NHL Network, they were putting on a brave face and nothing-to-worry-about-here attitude, going on about how this isn’t a crisis, the league is doing what it can, we don’t want to change our game—blah blah blah.

I’m not sure any of those statements are true.  I think the NHL has its head in the sand about the links between blows to the head and CTE.  I think these concussions are becoming epidemic, and this is starting to look more and more like a crisis every day.  When your best player, your leading goal scorer, your leading point scorer, several of your top defensemen—and many more—are out with this injury, an injury no one really knows how to treat and that can be permanently debilitating, well, that sounds like a crisis to me.

Maybe the reason they don’t want to admit it is that there’s no easy fix.  Many of the problems we’re seeing now are not coming from Mike Richards/Matt Cooke destroyer-type hits.  They’re not coming from fighting.  Often they are coming from accidental collisions with teammates, innocuous-looking hits that happen in the ordinary course of play, sticks to the face, etc.  You can’t prevent any of those things.  And that may be the scariest part of all.

Foresight in making the rinks larger a few years ago might have helped.  Many people say that boat has sailed, but maybe it should be considered, as incredibly costly and difficult as it would be.

I just hope hockey is not reaching the point where this game, in its present format, with these players playing at this speed, is inherently unsafe.  If it is, you have to wonder if parents will continue to let their kids play it.

Posted by Lex Talionis on 12/16/11 at 10:39 AM ET

Evilpens's avatar

Lex it is because the Brain sits in a Jelly like substance inside the skull & it’s the moving a high speed & Sudden Stops that do it. Because the Brain in the jelly like substance just floats in that stuff & sudden stops it slams off the Skull & therefore causes a brain bruise or “Concussion” that is what new & improved Helmets won’t do anything it’s the speed & sudden stop that does it

Posted by Evilpens on 12/16/11 at 10:45 AM ET

Evilpens's avatar

Good Lord Amway Wings fans are the Most INSECURE adolescent people I have EVER seen/

But then there is a reason the are Like that When their “Vaunted” Amway Wings plays a Journey song about Getting the Hell out of a Detroit as a “Celebration” song

Like 14 year old Girls in that Everything is MAJOR Problem & could be the end of the world

Posted by Evilpens on 12/16/11 at 10:48 AM ET

awould's avatar

I’m happy Pronger is done. Despite being a talented NHL player, he was always dirty and behaved like an ass through most of his career. He always dished out the nasty hits more than he took them so it’s fitting that his career ends this way. Anyone who stomps on a player with his skate should’ve been kicked out years ago anyways. Good riddance.

Also, Evilpens, as for insecure Wings fans, you’re the guy posting over and over about how right you were way back in some discussion board everyone else forgot about. People secure in themselves don’t need to come out with “I told you so” months later. That’s for insecure 14 year old girls. And you, I guess. Keep up the trolling though, really, because it’s always interesting to see how you manage to wedge some anti-Wings comment in a chat about a totally unrelated story.

Posted by awould on 12/16/11 at 01:05 PM ET

Kate from PA now in SC-made in Detroit's avatar

With so many concussions on a daily basis, in most all contact sports, I am beginning to wonder if performance enhancing drugs are a contributing factor?

Lets Go Red Wings!!!!!

Posted by Kate from PA now in SC-made in Detroit on 12/16/11 at 01:05 PM ET


While I wish Pronger’s health issues improve, let’s not forget the Flyers can put him on LTIR and get a lot of cap relief to pick up a player down the stretch. No one is feeling bad for them.

Posted by tj77 from USA on 12/16/11 at 01:44 PM ET

w2j2's avatar

I hate to see Pronger out with what obviously is a severe brain injury.
He has been a great defenseman, a great leader, and has won at every level.
I will never forget the leadership and contribution he made to the Oilers, not to mention the Ducks.

As for his nastiness, that has always been a part of the game.  Fans need a villain, and if not Pronger, then Jordan Tootoo, Sean Avery, Kyle Cutterbuck or someone else.

Here is hoping for a speedy recovery for an exceptional hockey palyer.

Posted by w2j2 on 12/16/11 at 04:47 PM ET

pautna's avatar


Posted by pautna on 12/16/11 at 05:08 PM ET

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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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