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Christopher Robert Pronger (born October 10, 1974) is a Canadianmarker professional ice hockey defenceman for the Philadelphia Flyers of the National Hockey League (NHL). He is an alternate captain for the Flyers during away games. Pronger was originally selected 2nd overall by the Hartford Whalers in the 1993 NHL Entry Draft and played for them from 199395, followed by the St. Louis Blues (from 19952004), the Edmonton Oilers (from 2005–06), and the Anaheim Ducks from 20062009). He won the Hart Trophy as the league's most valuable player in the 1999–2000 season and was the first defenceman to win the award since Bobby Orr in 1972. He was also the cover athlete for NHL Hitz 20-03 and EA Sports NHL 2000 while with the St. Louis Blues.

Playing career

Minor and junior hockey

Before entering the Junior ranks in Ontario, Pronger grew up playing minor hockey in his hometown of Drydenmarker, Ontariomarker. As a 15-year old, he was identified through the Ontario U-17 program and signed with the Stratford Cullitons Jr. B (OHA) club for the 1990–91 season.

In May 1991, Pronger indicated he was going to join his older brother Sean at Bowling Green State University (NCAA) instead of opting for the OHL. Regardless of his pre-draft indications, Pronger was selected in the 6th round by the Peterborough Petes in the OHL Priority Selection. He subsequently reported to the Petes and played two years in the OHL before being selected in the 1993 NHL Entry Draft.

After two outstanding seasons with the Peterborough Petes of the Ontario Hockey League (OHL), and because of being highly regarded for his outstanding speed as a defenceman, Pronger was selected second overall by the Hartford Whalers in the 1993 NHL Entry Draft, behind Alexandre Daigle, who made the infamous statement, "I'm glad I got drafted first, because no one remembers number two."

Hartford Whalers and St. Louis Blues

He made his debut in the 1993–94 NHL season, playing 81 games for the Whalers and earning a spot on the NHL All-Rookie Team. However, Pronger was arrested for drunk driving, involved in a barroom brawl, and was considered by some to be impatient and immature. After a second season in Hartford, he was traded to the St. Louis Blues for star forward Brendan Shanahan on July 27, 1995.

In the early years of his St. Louis career, Pronger played under coach and general manager Mike Keenan. He would eventually become the team's captain, from 1997–2003.

In his third season with St. Louis, at age 23, Pronger was again named to the All-Star team. That year Pronger also had a brief cardiac arrest during the 1998 Stanley Cup Playoffs when he was hit in the chest with a puck in a game against the Detroit Red Wings. Prior to this he played for the Canadian Olympic team in Nagano. In 1999–2000, Pronger recorded a career-high 62 points and a +52 rating. His efforts culminated in a Norris and Hart Trophy at the end of the season. Pronger beat Art Ross winner Jaromír Jágr by just one point in Hart Trophy voting, which was, at the time, the smallest margin of victory in the history of the award. (Two years later, Jarome Iginla and José Théodore tied in overall voting; Théodore won with more first-place votes.) Pronger was also named to the First All-Star Team.

Pronger notched 47 points the next season, but appeared in only 51 games due to injury problems. In February 2002, he won a gold medal with the Canadian Olympic Team in the Winter Olympics in Salt Lake Citymarker. That same year in the NHL, he had another fine season and played in the All-Star Game once again. But injuries became a problem again in 2002–03, limiting him to just five games played. Pronger bounced back with another quality season in 2003–04. Following the 2004–05 NHL lockout and imposition of the NHL salary cap, the Blues traded Pronger to the Edmonton Oilers for defensemen Eric Brewer, Jeff Woywitka and Doug Lynch. While the Blues needed to reduce team salaries to make it easier to sell the team, the Oilers were able to sign Pronger to a five-year, $31.25 million contract. With the Oilers he also served as a rotatingalternate captain when other teamates were injured during 2005–06.

Edmonton Oilers

Pronger was selected to play for Team Canada at the 2006 Winter Olympics, marking his third consecutive Olympic Games. The Oilers went to the Stanley Cup Final that same year. On June 5, 2006, in Game 1 of the Stanley Cup Finals against the Carolina Hurricanes, Pronger became the first player in NHL history to score a penalty shot goal in a Stanley Cup Final game. The Oilers lost in game seven, with Pronger scoring a team-leading 21 points (5 goals, 16 assists) in 24 games, as well as a team leading plus/minus rating of +10 during the playoffs.

On June 23, 2006, Pronger requested a trade through his agent, Pat Morris, from the Edmonton Oilers. Edmonton GM Kevin Lowe said that the request was due to personal reasons, while media outlets reported that Pronger's wife, Lauren, was not happy in Edmonton. The controversy surrounding Pronger's trade request has led many to describe him as "Public Enemy No.1" in Edmonton.On July 3, Pronger was traded to the Anaheim Ducks for forward Joffrey Lupul, defensive prospect Ladislav Šmíd, Anaheim's 2007 first-round draft pick (traded to the Phoenix Coyotes, picked Nick Ross), a conditional first-round draft pick (dependent on the Ducks reaching the Stanley Cup Finals in the next 3 years), and Anaheim's 2008 second-round draft pick.

Anaheim Ducks

Chris Pronger with Anaheim.


In 2007, Pronger played an important role for the Ducks run as they reached the Stanley Cup Finals and later won the championship. It was also Pronger's second straight finals appearance. During the Conference Finals, Pronger was suspended for one game for a check on Detroit Red Wings winger Tomas Holmström. He later criticized the Canadian media's coverage of the incident. In the final round, Pronger was suspended for one game for elbowing Ottawa Senators winger Dean McAmmond in the head during game 3. With the Stanley Cup victory he became a member of the Triple Gold Club.

On September 28, 2007, Pronger was named the captain of the Ducks, replacing Scott Niedermayer. Although Niedermayer returned to the lineup later in the season, Pronger remained captain until the start of Next season when Niedermayer was re-named captain. Pronger retained a role as alternate captain.

On March 12, 2008, Pronger was involved in an incident with Vancouver's Ryan Kesler. Pronger, after being tangled up with Kesler behind the Anaheim blue line, stomped unnecessarily on Kesler's leg. Kesler was not injured, and upon initial review the NHL did not suspend Pronger. However, upon new video evidence, which provided a better angle, the league once again reviewed the incident and gave Pronger an 8 game suspension. He returned to the ice April 6 against the Phoenix Coyotes in Anaheim's last regular season game of the year.

The 2008-09 season was quite successful for Pronger who played his 1000th career game on February 20, 2009. The Ducks would rally late in the season to jump into 8th place of the Western conference. They dispatched the President's Trophy winner San Jose Sharks in six games before falling to the Detroit Red Wings in seven games. Pronger had 2 goals and 8 assists in 13 playoff games.

Philadelphia Flyers

On June 27, 2009, Pronger, along with forward Ryan Dingle, was traded to the Philadelphia Flyers in exchange for forward Joffrey Lupul, defenseman Luca Sbisa, two first round draft picks and a conditional third round draft pick. It was the second time Lupul and Pronger had been involved in a trade for each other. On July 7, 2009, Pronger signed a seven-year contract extension that will most likely see him finish his career in Philadelphia. Nearly a month after signing, the NHL announced they had launched an investigation on Pronger's deal to determine whether it was a circumvention of the salary cap under the collective bargaining agreement. Because the contract is front-loaded, with annual salaries of just $525,000 in the final two years, and expires by the time Pronger is 42, the investigation was launched with the focus on the potential of negotiations between Pronger and the Flyers to retire before contract expiration.

Personal life

Pronger's mother Eila is Finnish. He and his wife Lauren have two sons, Jack and George, and one daughter, Lilah. He lived in Irvine, Californiamarker while playing for the Anaheim Ducks. Pronger now resides in Haddonfield, NJmarker while playing for the Philadelphia Flyers.

Transactions



Awards



Career statistics

    Regular season   Playoffs
Season Team League GP G A Pts PIM GP G A Pts PIM
1991–92 Peterborough Petes OHL 63 17 45 62 90 10 1 8 9 28
1992–93 Peterborough Petes OHL 61 15 62 77 108 21 15 25 40 51
1993–94 Hartford Whalers NHL 81 5 25 30 113
1994–95 Hartford Whalers NHL 43 5 9 14 54
1995–96 St. Louis Blues NHL 78 7 18 25 110 13 1 5 6 16
1996–97 St. Louis Blues NHL 79 11 24 35 143 6 1 1 2 22
1997–98 St. Louis Blues NHL 81 9 27 36 180 10 1 9 10 26
1998–99 St. Louis Blues NHL 67 13 33 46 113 13 1 4 5 28
1999–00 St. Louis Blues NHL 79 14 48 62 92 7 3 4 7 32
2000–01 St. Louis Blues NHL 51 9 39 47 75 15 1 7 8 32
2001–02 St. Louis Blues NHL 78 7 40 47 120 9 1 7 8 24
2002–03 St. Louis Blues NHL 5 1 3 4 10 7 1 3 4 14
2003–04 St. Louis Blues NHL 80 14 40 54 88 5 0 1 1 16
2004–05 Did not play — Lockout
2005–06 Edmonton Oilers NHL 80 12 44 56 74 24 5 16 21 26
2006–07 Anaheim Ducks NHL 66 13 46 59 69 18 3 12 15 26
2007–08 Anaheim Ducks NHL 72 12 31 43 128 6 2 3 5 12
2008–09 Anaheim Ducks NHL 82 11 37 48 88 13 2 8 10 12
NHL totals 1022 142 464 606 1457 147 22 80 102 286


International play

Played for Canada in:

International statistics

Year Team Event   GP G A Pts PIM
1993 Canada WJC 7 1 3 4 6
1997 Canada WC 9 0 2 2 12
1998 Canada Oly 6 0 0 0 4
2002 Canada Oly 6 0 1 1 2
2006 Canada Oly 6 1 2 3 16
Senior int'l totals 27 1 5 6 34


Notes

  1. Dan Patrick:Outtakes: Chris Pronger (uncut)
  2. The Calgary Sun
  3. CANOE – SLAM! Sports – Hockey NHL – Phoenix – He's public enemy No. 2
  4. CANOE – SLAM! Sports – Hockey NHL – Edmonton – Edmonton awaits Pronger's return
  5. Oilers watching Ducks' success closely
  6. Ducks' Pronger suspended one game
  7. Pronger speaks out on Game 4 suspension
  8. Ducks' Pronger suspended one game
  9. http://www.sportsnet.ca/hockey/2009/07/07/pronger_extension_flyers/
  10. MTV3 Internet >Urheilu


External links




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