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Flyers shut down Chris Pronger for season, playoffs

Dec 15, 2011, 8:09 PM EDT

Chris Pronger Getty Images

Flyers fans’ worst fear has been confirmed: the team just announced that Chris Pronger will sit out the rest of the season and playoffs because of severe post-concussion syndrome. Here’s the official statement:

“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.”

Obviously, this is an enormous blow to the Flyers. A healthy Pronger is a huge difference-maker. That much was evident in the 2010 playoffs when the team came two wins short of a Stanley Cup despite interchanging between Brian Boucher and Michael Leighton in net. You can make a reasonable argument that Pronger deserved a Conn Smythe nod on three different occasions, so there’s no doubt he’ll be sorely missed.

The bigger worries go beyond this season, though. Pronger has a 35+ contract, so Philly will be on the hook for his $4.92 million cap hit through 2016-17 even if he retires. In a way, it seems like his health collapsed the second that regrettable deal became valid in 2010-11.

Hopefully Pronger will come back healthy – eventually – but considering his rugged style and severe mileage, his big-picture outlook is grim.

  1. taytay099 - Dec 15, 2011 at 8:10 PM

    Later gator.

  2. phillyphever - Dec 15, 2011 at 8:15 PM

    Here’s hoping for an amnesty clause included in the next CBA so they can get out of this. Otherwise, it’s gonna be another Rathje situation.

  3. abrienza428 - Dec 15, 2011 at 8:46 PM

    Sorry to bring up Crosby here, but this is obviously the same doctor that treated him. Does this imply Crosby’s situation is not as bad since the recommendation to shut down for the whole season was (presumably) never handed down? Just curious, because that statement from the doctors was pretty definitive.

    • abrienza428 - Dec 15, 2011 at 8:47 PM

      Also best of luck to Pronger in his recovery. Hate the guy, but he undoubtedly makes his team better and is a winner plain and simple.

      • atomicpenguin76 - Dec 15, 2011 at 10:08 PM

        Definitely not a Flyers fan, but this kind of thing is bad for everybody who loves hockey. Here’s hoping he gets better and makes it back next year, I’d hate to see someone like him go out like this.

  4. tommytd - Dec 15, 2011 at 8:55 PM

    I’ll miss ‘em like a hangnail. Hang ‘em up Chrissy, you’re done.

  5. solador78 - Dec 15, 2011 at 9:06 PM

    “You beat them with heart, not muscle.”

    The truth is bad for the NHL (right now). Let’s wait for the offseason to retire.

  6. warpstonebc - Dec 15, 2011 at 10:09 PM

    You hate to see anyone go out this way. But Chris Pronger suffering a career-ending injury is not exactly going to upset many peoples’ sense of fairness.

    This is a guy who’s dished out more than his fair share of cheap shots and serious injuries to other NHLers.

    You reap what you sow.

    • icelovinbrotha215 - Dec 15, 2011 at 10:43 PM

      Classy my dude. You really want to play ‘what comes around, goes around’ card? What serious injuries did he dish out? This is more than just hockey. This could alter his life.

      • warpstonebc - Dec 16, 2011 at 2:11 AM

        Urr. It’s been said before, but do a simple google search for Pronger and Dirty or Cheap in google.

        Try this for starters: http://www.aolnews.com/2009/05/06/video-chris-pronger-nhls-dirtiest-player/

        Nice try, but Pronger’s not exactly Nick Lidstrom.

        His game has always been peppered with questionable stuff. It sucks that he goes out like this, but it’s an ironic twist considering how much of his reputation was built on taking out other players with low blows.

  7. Jeff - Dec 15, 2011 at 11:21 PM

    Never a fan of Pronger, but that’s a shame.

  8. har21441 - Dec 16, 2011 at 7:30 AM

    the NHL really needs to get concussions under control. Shanahan is doing a better job at enforcing head shots, but when Pittsburgh and Philly are agreeing on something, know that it’s an issue bigger than the game.
    Hate Pronger, but no one deserves this.

  9. govtminion - Dec 16, 2011 at 9:13 AM

    Comments here to the effect of ‘he deserves it’ or ‘its Pronger, who cares’ make me embarrassed to be a hockey fan.

  10. jpelle82 - Dec 16, 2011 at 10:17 AM

    the hockey gods hate pronger…they tried to kill him once (heart stop incident), tried to rip his eye out, tore and broke his hands and legs, and now have resorted to maiming his brain. he has a cup and a gold medal, he better hang em up or he might not walk away next time…one tough SOB though

  11. boston25rocketman - Dec 16, 2011 at 11:32 AM

    I’m not gonna say he deserves this by any means, but I’m also not gonna go out of my way to sympathize. The guy has a laundry list of offenses going back before the lockout. He was a damn good player otherwise, seems hard to believe we’ll see him again though at his age.

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