In your face, Philadelphia Flyers former defenseman and captain Chris Pronger addressed the media about his injury for the first time in a press conference in Voorhees, NJ on Thursday. This may be old news, but I’ve seen a lot of other bloggers saying that he didn’t tell us anything we didn’t already know, and that it was a waste of time. Okay, I’ll bite. That is partly true, and partly false.
So, it must be my thing to talk about the Flyers’ beards, but I don’t think I ever saw Pronger sporting a playoff beard when he was on the team. So it was really be odd to see him with a beard that made him look like Dawson’s Creek James Van Der Beek.
In the presser he seemed a bit mellower, but he came back to his old ways by later starting to crack jokes and making fun of Comcast Sports Net’s Tim Panaccio. The main thing that made the presser so important, was that Pronger himself has never really talked about his injury to the press. It may have told us things we already knew, but it was still important. He really just wants to get healthy, and if he comes back, he comes back, but he’s definitely not retiring. Pronger is now put on the long term injury reserve, and I’m pretty sure his career is over. He’s mainly not going to retire so that the Flyers don’t go through the cap roof. Pronger won’t do that to his team.
What the presser told us that we didn’t really know, was how much the injury has affected his life. He revealed that he had many “dark days” and battled with a lot of depression over the past 16 months. When asked about his wife coming out and saying that his injury has changed him for the worse he explained that,
“When the symptoms start piling up you get pissed off…you have a headache and it won’t go away and you get even more pissed off. Then your kid comes over and you snap and you’re not being the father you want to be. I’m getting better at it.”
His concussion and his eye injury has really affected his life and Pronger put pretty much everything on the table in his conference. He also mentioned that his injury is different than a lot of the concussions that have been talked about around the NHL because his was not “strictly a head thing”, since his injury is a eye injury on top of post-concussion syndrome.
I think Pronger really revealed a lot about these type of injuries that we as fans don’t see as much. He also shed a light on how players have to deal with it. I really miss Pronger, not only for his defensive power on the ice, but because of his snarky press conferences. They were the best.
Let’s go Flyers! Deanna Vasso is a Flyers writer for rantsports.com. You can follow her on Twitter @Dmvasso.