Chris Pronger is up for a job with the Department of Player Safety, but, as you know, he still works for the Flyers. Due to a silly CBA thing, Pronger, who will never play again, is still on the Flyers’ roster and, each year, is placed on long-term injured reserve so the Flyers can circumvent his $4.9 million cap hit. The alternative is that Pronger retire and not get his money, a scenario in which the Flyers would be stuck with his cap hit. It’s a win-win. You probably know all of this.
Anyway, according to multiple reports from yesterday, he’s tapped to become a league employee in the department of player saftey.
This isn’t about Pronger not being able to check his bias at the door. I can’t imagine that would be a problem, if only because he’d be under the microscope. It’s like a dad coaching his son in Little League– he’ll usually be harder on him just so he doesn’t appear to be playing favorites. But if you’re the league, allowing Pronger to be part of an important and always controversial decision-making process when he’s employed by, and actively scouts for, the Flyers would be a bad look… especially because it’s the Flyers. Everyone hates the Flyers. This is how leagues develop image problems. Pronger would probably be plenty fair, but that’s not the point. You’re going anger the Rangers, Penguins, Bruins, other teams, and fans when, say, former defensive mate Braydon Coburn only gets a game for a blatant and dangerous boarding call. That’s a problem. Pronger’s legitimately a Flyers employee and still has a quasi-active role in the organization. I just don’t see how this is a good look for as long as that’s the case. It sucks for Pronger… but, you know, he’s making $4 million this year.