In perhaps one of the most “well duh” moments, Philadelphia Flyers general manager Paul Holmgren finally admitted that former defenseman Chris Pronger will never play hockey again.
Pronger left the Flyers two seasons ago after a nasty concussion followed by a freak stick accident that went up his eyeshield and hit him in the eye. Losing the in-your-face defenseman was a crushing blow, and the defense on the team has not looked the same since.
Last year Pronger held a press conference to update the media on his injury, but it was clear in how he spoke of his recovery that he was never coming back. He was adamant that he would see what happens and maybe one day he would be back, but that was probably to help out the Flyers. His contract will not be up until the 2016-17 season, so if he were to retire right now this would really hurt the Flyers with their cap space. It’s due to this that it’s kind of odd for Holmgren to finally came out and say the blueliner could never play again. Mainly the reason is how much longer will the NHL allow the team to keep Pronger on the long-term injury reserve?
Although Pronger has not been playing, he is still very active with team. Drafting Sam Morin was Pronger’s call, and rumors have even circled that he called all the shots in the Flyers entry-level draft this summer. If that is true, he could be trying to line himself up for a front office position.
One guess is that maybe Pronger will be a future Flyers coach, but this is an unlikely option for him since he has stated that even skating is hard for him sometimes. Pronger has been scouting for the team, so he might even be lining himself up to take Holmgren’s job. Or if Ron Hextall takes Holmgren’s job, Pronger could become Hexy’s assistant GM.