Chris Pronger Will Never Play Again
SB Nation- Philadelphia Flyers defenseman Chris Pronger will never play hockey again, manager Paul Holmgren confirmed in an interview with Ken Campbell of The Hockey News.
Despite everyone already knowing Pronger's career was over, the team has never openly acknowledged that fact previously. There have been insinuations about Pronger looking to get healthy and the like, but never a definitive statement regarding his future.
That is until Campbell filed a story about Pronger on Monday afternoon, via The Hockey News:
"I'll say it, Chris is never going to play again," said Philadelphia Flyers GM Paul Holmgren. "I have no problems saying it."
Pronger has not played a game since Nov. 19, 2011, and has been suffering problems with his right eye since being hit in the face by Toronto Maple Leafs forward Mikhail Grabovski on Oct. 24, 2011. Those problems have included disorientation by light and loud noises, as well as the loss of his peripheral vision. His wife, Lauren, outlined some of the daily issues Pronger has been dealing with during an interview in January of 2012.
His brother, Sean Pronger, stated in a Deadspin question-and-answer session in January of 2013 that he thought Chris would never play again but expressed that he couldn't speak about that definitively. Previous accounts have indicated that Philadelphia couldn't acknowledge the end of Pronger's career because of salary cap issues that would come with his retirement.
As we all know, the Bruins are dealing with a similar issue with Marc Savard. As most recall Savard suffered two concussions in a matter of a year and has yet to touch the ice in over two years. At 36 years old, Savard could have still been contributing to the Bruins for the next couple years, but it looks like he will have the same fate as Pronger.
Pronger on the other hands is one of the best defensemen to play the game. He was a huge acquisition for the Flyers 4 years ago, and it is a shame he will never get to skate again.
This brings a question about player safety in the NHL. As we all know the league has been cracking down on hits and even has gone as far as altering the rules for fighting, yet we always see the story of a player getting a serious injury. Hopefully the NHL does not become hitless, but much more safer, so that players can play longer.