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Meet the new boss: Flyers name Chris Pronger team captain

Sep 16, 2011, 4:26 PM EDT

Chris Pronger Getty Images

It was perhaps the least surprising team announcement for a new captain you’ll find all year. The Philadelphia Flyers announced that Chris Pronger will be the team’s 18th captain in franchise history.

After trading former captain Mike Richards to the Los Angeles Kings this summer and vacating the team leadership position in the process, the door was opened up for any one of Pronger, Daniel Briere, or Kimmo Timonen to step into the role. If you’re left underwhelmed by seeing Briere and Timonen’s name next to Pronger’s that’s understandable. Pronger comes off as the player who demands attention and respect in the locker room immediately, or else.

While Briere and Timonen each have earned their share of respect as well, Pronger’s leadership through being a gruff character and one eager to stand up for teammates no matter what is what makes him ideal captain material, especially in a tough place like Philadelphia. Pronger has done this before in his career as he was captain of the Anaheim Ducks in 2007-2008.

Joining Pronger as alternate captains will be none other than Briere and Timonen as the Flyers allow their veteran players take charge in the room. Briere is a former captain of the Buffalo Sabres while Timonen has been a team captain before in Nashville.

Flyers GM Paul Holmgren had this to say in a press release about the three guys they named to their new roles on the team.

“With Chris’s experience and presence, we felt that he was the perfect player to take over as captain of the Philadelphia Flyers,” Holmgren said.  “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.”

Pronger being named the team captain is perhaps the least surprising development all summer for the Flyers whose tumultuous summer leads them into a season where there’s a lot at stake. Adding Ilya Bryzgalov to be the team’s starting goalie as well as trading away Richards and Carter to open the door for newcomers like Brayden Schenn and Sean Couturier to potentially steal big jobs in training camp as well as making Claude Giroux the new top center.

With the host of new and young blood on the Flyers roster, having a surly veteran like Pronger to lead the way will help give the Flyers the look they’ve always dreamed of. Should the Flyers follow Pronger’s example they’ll be a tough team that doesn’t back down from anyone and will stick up for each other at all costs. In other words, they’re going to be just as tough to deal with as any Flyers team we’ve ever grown up with, just they’ll have a nasty competitor as their leader and Philadelphia wouldn’t want it to be any different.

  1. jsaq - Sep 16, 2011 at 4:28 PM

    In other news, water is wet, and the Sun will rise in the east. Couldn’t go wrong with Pronger, Briere or Timonen, but Pronger’s a natural choice.

  2. bluedrache - Sep 16, 2011 at 5:03 PM

    :lol:@jsaq Yes, this is a good thing. Pronger is a perpetual thorn in the competition’s side, and now he gets to shape the team into a thorn. I look forward to the Philly vs. Detroit battles.

  3. 1943mrmojorisin1971 - Sep 16, 2011 at 5:30 PM

    Straight-up thug and a whiner too. I wouldn’t want him leading my team

    • flyman423 - Sep 16, 2011 at 9:10 PM

      Lmao let me guess your a penguins fan? No no no capitals fan right lol get over it

      • 1943mrmojorisin1971 - Sep 17, 2011 at 2:02 AM

        This has nothing to do with what team I cheer for. Pronger is a cheap shot artist (see: 2007 playoffs and various other times in his career) and a classless whiner. He’s won gold repping my country so don’t tell me this has anything to do with which team he’s on. I’ll say it again, I would never want him to wear the “C” for my team

    • icelovinbrotha215 - Sep 22, 2011 at 11:17 AM

      And you have a better leader on your Maple Leafs?

  4. philly4lyfe - Sep 16, 2011 at 6:00 PM

    while Timonen has never been a team captain before in either Philadelphia or Nashville.

    Actually, he was captain in Nashville, which you even quoted holmgren saying in the next paragraph.

    • Joe Yerdon - Sep 16, 2011 at 6:05 PM

      Mistake noted, and corrected. We’re not always flawless here.

  5. tommytd - Sep 16, 2011 at 8:16 PM

    Chrissy Pronger is a moron.

    • flyman423 - Sep 16, 2011 at 9:12 PM

      Check that, Pronger is your worst nightmare. That’s what you meant to say right lol

  6. philly4lyfe - Sep 16, 2011 at 10:40 PM

    I’ll allow it this time, but don’t let it happen again :-)

  7. ICDogg - Sep 16, 2011 at 10:45 PM

    I’ve always been of the opinion that who the named captain is is not particularly important. People are natural leaders or they’re not. If they’re natural leaders, they lead. They don’t need a letter on their sweater saying so.

    As far as the other routine functions of the captain, anyone could do them.

    • icelovinbrotha215 - Sep 17, 2011 at 1:39 AM

      Hockey is different. When you were that “C” you are the face of the team. You talk with the refs and media. You are the first to receive the Cup. Captainship in hockey is very important.

  8. icelovinbrotha215 - Sep 17, 2011 at 1:42 AM

    And yea, I like the selections. All three exemplify leadership on and off the ice. And think they will give more time for Giroux to mature after the failure of Richards/Carter. Pumped for preseason then Oct. 6.

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