Hockey Headlines

Friday, 16 September 2011

C? It Fits

If you have watched Chris Pronger as he played with the Flyers for the last few seasons, you might have noticed that he wore a letter. He most commonly wore the letter "A" as the alternate captain. However, with the departure of the Flyers' former captain through a trade, there was an obvious hole that needed to be filled. It's no secret that Chris Pronger has captained a few teams, and a number of people thought he was the leader of the Flyers last season despite not wearing the on-ice identification of that leadership. There will be no question this season, however, as the Flyers officially anointed Pronger as their captain for the 2011-12 NHL season.

Chris Pronger has always been a guy that others have looked to since he broke into the NHL with the Hartford Whalers. If you look at his career achievements, he's done a lot to cement himself as one of the best of today's game and possible as one of the all-time greats. In fact, if you ask Pronger himself, he feels this appointment as the 18th captain in Flyers' history is academic.

"It's probably because I've been through everything in my career that a player could possibly go through," Pronger told Mike Brophy of Sportsnet.ca. "I lost in the Stanley Cup final; I won the Cup; I won gold in the Olympics; I lost in the Olympics; I was a young player who got into a little bit of trouble. I've done it all. I think the younger players can come to me with just about anything."

When Pronger was lost in the Stanley Cup Final two years ago to injury, the Blackhawks capitalized. Pronger was a dominating force in the earlier rounds, upsetting the New Jersey Devils and shocking the Boston Bruins after being down 0-3, but you could tell that the injury that was slowing him was limiting his effectiveness. There's no doubt that Pronger is one of the game's best players when he's healthy and determined.

Naming him captain in Philadelphia will endear him to Flyers fans. The fans in Philly love a bruising defenceman, and Pronger can be that. They love a guy who can score a big goal with a booming slapshot, and Pronger certainly has that. But they find themselves enamored with a captain who is the embodiment of his team: tough, physical, and mean. These may not be the Broad Street Bullies of the 1970s, but Chris Pronger plays as skilled and tough as those Flyers did.

Making Chris Pronger the captain of the Flyers seems like an easy choice. When you strip away the layers, though, he has not only earned the "C" through his actions and successes on the ice, but because he's everything that Philly fans love. That's the kind of guy you want to go into battle with every night of the season.

Until next time, keep your sticks on the ice!

1 comment:

D.M.Vasso said...

I don't think any of the Philly fans are surprised by this choice, and most of us already knew that Pronger would be named Captain. My only concern is how much he's injured, but I think as veteran player he can be a mentor to the newly acquired younger players.