Friday, June 24, 2011
Posted: 12:04 p.m.
By Tim Panaccio
MINNEAPOLIS, Minn. Chris Pronger knows what its like to be traded. It has happened to him four times in his 17-year NHL career.
He feels for Mike Richards and Jeff Carter, who were traded on Thursday.
Having gone through it a number of times, you kind of need a day to gather your thoughts and kind of get your wits about you, Pronger said Friday during a conference call.
Its certainly not an easy thing. I think it makes it a little bit easier that theyre both single and dont have to lug around kids and logistically and that stuff, but its still very tough to be traded and Im sure both of them have mixed emotions.
Pronger said he would attempt to contact both former Flyers today.
I think when you make a move like that to get a goalie and youve got to pay him, youve got to get the money somewhere, Pronger said. Time and again in the salary cap era, youve got to give to get. Unfortunately for us, those two guys were traded.
It sucks as a teammate. You hate to see guys go. They were for all intents and purposes the face of the franchise for four of those six years, if not for the six years they were here. Im sure its tough for them. The Philadelphia Flyers, its all they really know. Ive gone through it a number of times, and sometimes a move is healthy for you.
Pronger was asked about assuming the captaincy now that Richards is gone. A source told CSNPhilly.com that Pronger, who was a captain in St. Louis and Anaheim, will be offered the C.
You know what, I havent put much thought in it to be honest with you, Pronger said. This is all very, very fresh to a lot of us. Obviously Id have to talk to Homer Paul Holmgren and Lavi Peter Laviolette and see what their thoughts are, and kind of go from there.
You dont nominate yourself. Ive never been part of a team where somebody nominates himself. I think that may be a little bit premature to start talking about stuff like that. Its one day after two huge trades on our team and in the history of the Flyers, so I dont think thats in anybodys minds right now.
Obviously, the makeup in the Flyers dressing room is going to change. Pronger was asked whether there were issues in the Flyers room. He denied that, but added the Flyers needed more life in the room.
I dont think anybody would say a year ago when we went to the Stanley Cup Final that there was a chemistry problem, Pronger said. That year I think our play was very inconsistent, and we were trying to find ourselves as a team with a new coach and a new system.
I think the players were trying to find where they needed to be and how we needed to play to be successful as a group. Last year, youre coming off a tough defeat in the Stanley Cup Final in overtime, we got off to a good start, and nobody seemed to think we had a problem then.
As the season wore on, for whatever reason, we just didnt turn that corner and continue to get better and peak at the right time. Thats disappointing, and its tough. I dont think there was necessarily a rift, I think we just needed more life in the locker room.
It all has to do with your play on the ice. If youre playing well on the ice, theres never any questions as to whos doing what or is there a rift, does this guy like that guy, and all of the rest of the stuff that gets thrown out. If you play well on the ice, nobody wants to write about that because everythings going good.
Is the room better today than before?
I dont know, Pronger replied. I dont really know those other guys they brought in. I played against Wayne Simmonds for one or two years when I was in Anaheim, but other than that, when you play on the East Coast, you dont really play the West very often, and vice-versa.
When I was coming out here I didnt really know many of the guys here, because Id played in the West pretty much my whole career. I cant really speak to that right now, having no luxury to know any of the three guys we picked up.
The big question is whether the Flyers have gotten any closer to winning a Stanley Cup with these moves.
I dont know, Pronger said. I havent really thought about that too much. I just heard about the trades last night so I havent really put a whole lot of thought to it, Im up in the bush with my kids, fishing.
I havent put the Xs and Os together Im sure you guys have looked at it seven ways from Sunday and tried to figure out who wins or loses.
At the end of the day, as I said before, having been traded a number of times, its always difficult. They both played their hearts out in Philly, but sometimes as I said, youve got to make tough decisions and youve got to make moves, and sometimes it may hurt and may feel like youre making your team worse to make it better.
E-mail Tim Panaccio at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter @TPanotchCSN.
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