Skip to main content

The Globe and Mail

Pronger still dealing with concussion symptoms, not worried about ‘What If?’ questions

Philadelphia Flyers defenseman Chris Pronger (20) argues with referee Chris Rooney (5) after he called for a face-off as the Flyers were using their stall tactic during the first period of an NHL hockey game against the Tampa Bay Lightning, Wednesday, Nov. 9, 2011, in Tampa, Fla.

Chris O'Meara/AP

Chris Pronger has traded his orange-and-black jersey for an orange-and-white tie.

As he sat in the theatre at the Hockey Hall of Fame on Tuesday morning for the Gatorade High Performance Hockey Summit, the former Philadelphia Flyers captain knows his playing days are long behind him.

Concussion symptoms stemming from a stick to the eye in October 2011 ended his career less than a month later.

Story continues below advertisement

By November 2015, he could be back at the Hall of Fame as an inductee, even though he's still under contract with the Flyers through the 2016-17 season. It would be surreal, but the 39-year-old hasn't thought much about that or other things that could've been.

"That's a what if," Pronger said in an interview with The Canadian Press. "It would be a tremendous honour, but I don't sit around and think about it, pine over it. If it was to happen, great. But I certainly don't put any effort into concocting a long story about it."

A Hart and Norris Trophy winner and one of the most imposing defencemen of his era, Pronger is considered a lock to make the Hall of Fame one day. Whether that's in 2015 will be up to the selection committee.

"To quote HHOF's by-laws: 'A candidate for election in the player category must have concluded his or her career as an active player for a minimum of three playing seasons before his or her election,"' Hockey Hall of Fame president and CEO Jeff Denomme wrote in an email. "As such, any player who concluded his or her career as an active player during or after the 2011-12 season will be eligible in 2015. Questions pertaining to eligible candidates for the 2015 election proceedings will be confirmed at HHOF's Board of Directors meeting in November."

Pronger, who took a stick to the eye from then-Toronto Maple Leafs forward Mikhail Grabovski on Oct. 24, is living in St. Louis now and working as a scout with the Flyers. The effects from that injury assured that Nov. 19, 2011 at Winnipeg would go down as his final NHL game, and some symptoms have still not gone away.

"I have them from time to time," Pronger said. "But I'm doing pretty well. For the most part, I'm pleased with the progress. Every once in a while you take a step backwards, but things have been progressing."

Pronger was one of just two players to represent Canada at the first four Olympics with NHL players, along with goaltender Martin Brodeur. Any chance of his making Team Canada in 2014 was ended more than two years ago, but it's not out of the realm of possibility to think a healthy Pronger could have made it to Sochi even at his age.

Story continues below advertisement

"Who's to say? There's a lot of what ifs," Pronger said. "We don't live in the what-if world, we live in the now world. I'd like to think I would, but who knows? I don't know."

Report an error
Comments

The Globe invites you to share your views. Please stay on topic and be respectful to everyone. For more information on our commenting policies and how our community-based moderation works, please read our Community Guidelines and our Terms and Conditions.

We’ve made some technical updates to our commenting software. If you are experiencing any issues posting comments, simply log out and log back in.

Discussion loading… ✨

Combined Shape Created with Sketch.

Combined Shape Created with Sketch.

Thank you!

You are now subscribed to the newsletter at

You can unsubscribe from this newsletter or Globe promotions at any time by clicking the link at the bottom of the newsletter, or by emailing us at privacy@globeandmail.com.