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Pronger Arrives Early

Veteran defenseman anxious to start camp

Monday, 08.10.2009 / 3:05 PM / News
By Kevin Kurz  - philadelphiaflyers.com
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Pronger Arrives Early
(Voorhees, NJ) – Having spent the majority of his career on the West Coast, Flyers defenseman Chris Pronger got a little taste of what a Wachovia Center crowd can be like on Saturday night when he attended UFC 101.

The building was sold out and as loud as ever for the ultimate fighting event.

“It seemed like a pretty raucous atmosphere,” said Pronger, who will undoubtedly contribute to that atmosphere once Philadelphia’s home opener arrives on October 6 against the Washington Capitals.
Chris Pronger is anxious to begin training camp, as well as his first season with the Flyers. (Getty Images)

The 6’6’’, 214-pound defenseman recently came back to town for good to get settled into a new home with his family and prepare for his 16th season in the NHL and first in orange and black.

“Now we’re just going through all the boxes and trying to get situated,” he said.

When the trade with Anaheim was made at the NHL Entry Draft on June 26, most top hockey minds said that despite having to surrender a 20-goal scorer in Joffrey Lupul, a top prospect in Luca Sbisa and two first-round picks, the Flyers had immediately made themselves a Stanley Cup contender. After all, Pronger won a Cup with Anaheim in 2007 and led the Edmonton Oilers to the Finals in his one and only year there in 2005-06.

Some of the most eye-opening comments came from his former general manager in Anaheim, Brian Burke (now in the same role with the Toronto Maple Leafs). Burke told CSNPhilly.com at the time that Pronger was “born to wear Flyer orange,” and “people are going to love him.”

Pronger responded to those comments on Monday.

“I think when [Burke] got me in Anaheim he was trying to emulate the way Philadelphia has played throughout the history of the franchise,” said Pronger. “We were, I guess, one of those teams that were looked upon by the league as one of the bad boys of the NHL in terms of penalties and whatnot called against us.

“I obviously know the background of [Philadelphia] and the organization and team and what they’re all about. I’d like to echo those sentiments and hopefully good things will come.”

* * *

Pronger is no stranger to getting to camp early. The majority of players typically arrive in late August and early September, but the Flyers’ prized offseason acquisition is already getting himself in shape for the grind that begins with the first on-ice day of training camp September 13. It's a routine he's followed for most of his career.

“I’m usually here around this time trying to start skating and preparing for the season, and doing all the little things that it takes to be ready to go for the start of camp.

“Every year it’s always the same. You get to August, and wish that you could fast forward this month and get right to camp. It starts to get a little old, when you go on three months of training and you get a little sick of riding the bike and doing all the other things you’ve got to do to prepare. You want to get on the ice and get skating with your teammates and do what you love to do.”

Pronger has gotten a chance to get to know some of his new teammates who stick around town for most of the summer like Jeff Carter and Riley Cote, who went with Pronger to the UFC fights over the weekend. When looking at the current roster, Pronger sees a team that is ready to win now.

“I think we’ve got a young, energetic and exciting team that’s going to be fun to watch,” he said.

He’s also impressed with the Flyers’ staff and organization as a whole so far.

“Everything is all about the players and trying to help them perform. It’s nice to be a part of something like that.”

SCHEDULE

HOME
AWAY
PROMOTIONAL

STANDINGS

EASTERN CONFERENCE
  TEAM GP W L OT GF GA PTS
1 TBL 50 31 15 4 163 132 66
2 MTL 47 31 13 3 127 108 65
3 NYI 48 32 15 1 157 135 65
4 DET 49 28 12 9 145 128 65
5 PIT 49 28 13 8 145 125 64
6 WSH 48 25 14 9 144 124 59
7 BOS 49 26 16 7 131 123 59
8 NYR 46 27 15 4 135 111 58
9 FLA 46 21 15 10 114 129 52
10 PHI 50 21 22 7 139 151 49
11 TOR 50 22 24 4 144 155 48
12 OTT 47 19 19 9 129 134 47
13 CBJ 47 21 23 3 119 148 45
14 NJD 49 18 22 9 110 137 45
15 CAR 48 17 25 6 104 125 40
16 BUF 50 14 33 3 94 179 31

STATS

2014-2015 REGULAR SEASON
SKATERS: GP G A +/- Pts
J. Voracek 50 17 41 11 58
C. Giroux 49 16 36 7 52
M. Streit 50 7 28 0 35
W. Simmonds 50 18 13 -4 31
B. Schenn 50 11 20 -2 31
S. Couturier 50 11 12 0 23
M. Read 50 3 15 -8 18
M. Del Zotto 38 4 12 -6 16
M. Raffl 40 12 3 6 15
V. Lecavalier 36 7 7 -9 14
 
GOALIES: W L OT Sv% GAA
S. Mason 10 12 6 .922 2.40
R. Emery 8 9 1 .887 3.38
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