I have to give some credit to a man that a lot of people simply don't like. Chris Pronger, in recent years, has become sort of the NHL's improv comedy guy. From toying with reporters during press conferences to cracking jokes during scrums around his locker, Pronger really has started to show his personality, and I'm starting to warm to the guy. How many times have you seen an interview with a player where he gives all the clichéd answers and standard responses to questions? Too many, I'd say. It's no longer the case with Chris Pronger.
The following video was posted to YouTube by BroadStreetHockey, and they deserve some credit for capturing the reporters' reactions as they ask Pronger about the disallowed goal against Calgary on Friday night. The reporters clearly like talking to Pronger because of how candid his answers are. Take a look, and watch their reactions to Pronger's answers:
"That's a five-second delay, Chuck!"
I'm not here to debate the wording of the rule that the NHL has in place or whether the referee, Mr. Ghislain Hebert, was right in making the call. The call was made, it can't be changed, done and done. Yes, the call cost the Flyers one point in the standings, but they had additional chances after the goal was waved off.
What I am here to say is that it is refreshing to hear a player make comments that generally don't get him fined. More players need to learn this skill, and it's one that Pronger has down cold. How entertaining would the NHL be if the player interviews were as good as the game itself?
Don't get me wrong: I don't support or endorse what Pronger did in any way. I know Don Cherry had a problem with it tonight, and that's his belief. If Pronger did it innocently, that's his claim to defend and support. I'm not comparing his actions with Sean Avery's actions simply because Avery went out of his way to distract Martin Brodeur. But it does look kind of fishy when Pronger is waving his hand at the height of Kiprusoff's head.
Regardless of whether he was right or wrong, Pronger's interview skills should be endorsed because he's the most entertaining chatter in the NHL right now.
Until next time, keep your sticks on the ice!