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Chris Pronger….. WWF Heel

June 2, 2010

If you haven’t heard about this whole Chris Pronger puck stealing/towel throwing incident, you’re either blind and deaf or too busy pretending you’re a Celtics fan after not following them all season.

Remember when the B's bandwagon was full?

We get why Pronger is doing what he’s doing. Trying to get under the Blackhawks skin. Trying to motivate his team. Trying to get the fans and media to talk about something other than the Flyers being down 0-2 in the series and focus on him.

Don’t really approve of what he’s doing here. But he doesn’t need our approval. He’s a millionaire hockey player, playing in the Stanley Cup Finals. Probably going to the Hall of Fame. We’re hockey fans sitting around calling him a dumbass, but knowing if he was face to face with us we’d tell him it was awesome and pee our pants.

Regardless of how you feel about the whole thing, consider it mission accomplished for Pronger. You know, assuming he is actually trying to deflect attention from his team and not just doing it for the sole purpose of being an immature jerk.

The NHL likes to market their heroes. But what about their villains? They took the fight out of Avery, but Pronger is a villain in the purest sense.

After the jump, we explore the Flyers trading for and signing Chris Pronger…

On June 27, 2009 Flyers GM Paul Holmgren Vince McMahon traded for Chris Pronger. He knew his team needed a sturdy defenseman. A proven champion. A guy who wasn’t afraid to live up to the true Flyer legacy of being cheap and throwing errant elbows.

Pronger joins the Corporation

He was later signed to a 7-year extension. One of those crafty deals that Detroit originated that keeps the cap hit down but still pays the player what they want overall. It was done. The Flyers had their man. A year later, they’re in the Finals.

He led those pesky Oilers to a surprising Cup Finals appearance during the 2005-06 season, before his wife decided she hated the cold and wanted to go to California and be a beach bunny instead of a puck bunny. Hey Chris, do those whip marks on your back hurt?

Whip it good.

He won a Cup with Anaheim. Now he’s back in the Finals with the Flyers. Wherever he goes, his teams seem to become contenders. That is why Vince signed him. He wanted the championship back. One elbow at a time.

You want these pucks? It doesn't matter if you want these pucks!

At the end of Games 1 and 2, Pronger skated down the ice to grab the game pucks so the Blackhawks could not have them. Their victory was enough. He didn’t want them to remember it. You know, other than actually winning.

Ben Eager took offense. He had words with Pronger. Pronger tossed a towel at him, told him to go clean himself up before he chatted with Pronger. He then took the pucks back to his lair.

Official photo from the Flyers

Eager’s response validated Pronger’s actions. He got under the skin of at least one Blackhawk. Chicago can’t show weakness… and Eager blinked. When asked about the exchange, Pronger responded thusly:

“I don’t know. Apparently, it got him upset. So I guess it worked, didn’t it? It’s too bad. I guess little things amuse little minds.”

The Philly fans love him. He’s the ultimate Flyer. He’s cheap. He’s tough. He’s mouthy. He’ll step on your leg with his skate and not care.

But he’s good. He plays about 30 minutes a night. He shuts down star offensive players.

Those outside Philly hate him. And that’s exactly what Pronger wants. And he’s damn good at it.

But love him or hate him, Pronger’s antics are working. So far anyway. How many “experts” and fans are talking about the Flyers being down in the series? All eyes are on Pronger. Most of the talk today is on how the Blackhawks will respond.

His antics are bush league and immature, but they’re serving their purpose. He’s relieving some of the pressure on his teammates and building his case as one of the greatest villains in WWF NHL history. This is why no matter where he goes, his teammates charge into battle for him.

What remains to be seen is whether or not this translates to motivation for his team during the games. What if this motivate’s Chicago further to make sure Pronger doesn’t get another Cup ring? What if instead of pissing off the Blackhawks and making them take dumb penalties on him, this makes their resolve to win stronger? Pronger can take pucks away if the Blackhawks win, but he can’t take away a Cup if Chicago wins.

If the Flyers fall down 0-3 in the series, Pronger’s antics will be remembered as useless and childish. These Blackhawks are not the Bruins. Philly won’t come back if they lose a third straight to Chicago.

But these type of antics have won Philly nothing. Unlike the Bruins whose history is marked with epic collapses, the Flyers history is marked with trying to imitate the Broad Street Bullies of the 70s and failing miserably. If Pronger, and the Flyers, want to win they need to stop playing to the goon reputation and play hockey.

And maybe put that idiot Carcillo back on the bench.

And since we’re not face to face with Pronger, we’ll say this…. You’re a professional Chris. Act like one. Make your points during the game. Not after.


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