Today In Flyers History: Chris Pronger traded to Philadelphia

Chris Pronger, Philadelphia Flyers (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)
Chris Pronger, Philadelphia Flyers (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images) /

In need of a franchise defenseman, the Flyers paid a hefty price to bring in Chris Pronger.

The year was 2009 and the Philadelphia Flyers were in need of someone to anchor their defense. They had Kimmo Timonen, Matt Carle, and Braydon Coburn. But they needed that one defenseman to tip them over the edge.

That’s where Chris Pronger came into play. It wasn’t a cheap price to pry him away from the Ducks, however. The Flyers sent Joffrey Lupul, Luca Sbisa, and two first round draft picks to Anaheim.

Trading away Lupul didn’t hurt that team that much. His best season actually came with the Maple Leafs in 2011-12. He posted 67 points that year. Otherwise, he wasn’t able to stay healthy enough to make a big impact.

Sbisa only played with the Flyers for one season. And that was just 39 games in 2008-09. He put up seven assists. While still in the league, he also hasn’t made a true name for himself. Sbisa put up 24 points in his second full season with the Ducks. He hasn’t reached that since.

Pronger was almost immediately given a seven-year extension before he ever played a game for the team. It would actually kick it during his second season with the team as he still had a year. remaining on his current contract.

Acquiring Pronger gave the Flyers exactly what they were looking for. He jumped in and immediately began producing. Pronger put up 10 goals and 55 points during his first season with the team.

He anchored the team’s top pairing with Carle and was a force in all situations. Pronger took home the Flyers best defenseman award while finishing fifth in Norris voting.

But it was his leadership that made the biggest mark on the team. He helped guide a young Flyers team to the Stanley Cup Finals. The team unfortunately came just two wins away from taking home the cup.

And sadly for Pronger, that was the last time he was able to remain healthy for the team. He was devastated by injuries the following season, limiting him to just 50 games.

It began with offseason arthroscopic knee surgery. It didn’t stop during the season, either. Pronger suffered a broken foot and hand, both of which needing surgery. He also had a herniated disc in his back.

After back surgery the following offseason, Pronger came into the 2011-12 season at the Flyers’ new captain. And he was looking like his old self again. He grabbed 11 points in 12 games.

Little did we know at the time that he would play his final game in mid-November. During a game in late October, Pronger was struck by a high stick off the follow-through of a shot by Mikhail Grabovski.

Bedridden for four days, he suffered a ocular concussion. He tried to come back, suiting up after missing six games. But the concussion symptoms became too much for Pronger to overcome. He was finally shut down after shortly after his final game on November 19th.

He would later be inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame in 2015. Coincidentally enough, it was around the same time the Flyers traded the remainder of his contract to the Arizona Coyotes.

Points wise, Pronger won’t go down as one of the best in team history. In fact, Shayne Gostisbehere and Ivan Provorov already have more points than Pronger did with Philadelphia.

Pronger appeared in just two seasons with the Flyers so it’s hard to compare him to other defensemen that suiting up for Philadelphia. But during his time here, Pronger did have a big impact on the team.