Posts for pronger

Chris Pronger Put a Face on the Issue of Concussions Today

Kyle Scott - March 7, 2013


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Chris Pronger just put a face on the issue of concussions in professional sports.

For quite a few years now, the head injury has been a hot topic in sports, especially in football and hockey, where contact is encouraged and necessary. 

No recap or grouping of quotes will adequately summarize the struggles Pronger detailed today, and I'd highly recommend that you watch all three parts of his near 40-minute press conference (after the jump). But in a nutshell, the lingering effects of a stick to the eye and a concussion are as follows:

Pronger doesn't see well. His direct vision went from that of a 30-year-old to that of a 60-year-old. He keeps upping the prescription strength of his glasses, which he now wears. It's unfortunate, and though it's not a reversible problem, it's a symptom that can be managed and is the least of his worries, he explained.  

Peripheral vision presents a greater challenge.

Pronger has trouble seeing to his left and right. A sixth sense, as he described it, that was always available to him – heightened, even – is no longer there. He isn't as aware of his surroundings as he used to be… can't feel his kids coming around corners… couldn't detect an oncoming hit from an opposing player if he had to. At least one of his eyes has trouble going out, to see off to the side. This might get better over time, or it might not.

He gets headaches. Lots of them. Sometimes from trying to use his peripheral vision, sometimes from focusing, and sometimes from lights and noises and kids and, you know, living.

Though not as frequent and persistent as it once was, Pronger still suffers when he's around commotion. His brain, it would seem, struggles to process multiple inputs. Sort of like an old computer– sure, the browser works just fine, but try loading up Word, iTunes and Photoshop, then see what happens. That's Pronger. He needs more JAM RAM. Even focusing on a hockey game, on TV, bothers him after a while. He falls asleep earlier than he used to. He can't run– it gives him headaches. He can workout a bit – lift and ride the stationary bike – but when his heart rate gets too high, he gets headaches. He said he can't do anything that requires him to "move fast."

He can drive (when he wears his glasses), it's something he's been doing a lot of. He picks his kids up from school, takes them to hockey practice and other places, and then goes back home, just like my mom did for me before I got my license. 

That's an improvement from where Pronger was six months ago, though.

He would spend days in the house, doing little to nothing. After fulfilling obligations (presumably appearances or business related meetings), he would pay for them with headaches and dizziness, and would be forced to sit in the dark for a few days doing his best to ignore his children, or at least staying away from them when they became, you know, kids. He said he snapped at them a few times, but has learned to better manage that reflex. Usually. He still "gets a grrrrr on" every once in a while. 

Pronger has gotten on the ice a few times at his kids' hockey practices, but did nothing more than "push the puck around," as he described it. Somehow, that's not as cool as stealing a Stanley Cup game-winning puck from the Chicago Blackhawks.

A reporter asked Pronger if he ever thought about ending it – his life – and though Pronger chuckled at the question and said he didn't think it ever got that bad, he didn't laugh it off the way you might have expected an otherwise normal 38-year-old to do. Old Pronger would have have ignored the question, or, much more likely, walked out of the interview. This Pronger just said that doctors were pretty worried about him and that he had been depressed for a time. He probably still is. 

Those same doctors aren't sure if he'll ever get better. From the sounds of it, he'll improve, some, but will never be 100% again, and almost certainly won't play hockey. He won't admit that, and there's probably a couple reasons why: it's hard for any athlete to hang 'em up early, and doing so – retiring – would cost Pronger the roughly $12 million he's owed over the final four years of his deal. Or at least a portion of it (insurance would probably pay him a substantial chunk of that). The Flyers don't mind, either. As long as Pronger is on long-term injured reserve, they won't take a cap hit. If he retires, however, they will lose cap space, around $5 million per season. Plus they almost certainly have insurance that is covering Pronger's contract right now. So there's a decent chance that Pronger isn't retiring as a courtesy to the Flyers. And that's probably a good thing because, um, have you seen the defense?

Pronger has seen a little bit of it. He watches games when he can and provides the team with feedback, but he admitted that he isn't fully engaged (the former captain "checks the scores"). He'll be at the Penguins game tonight and thinks he can sit through the whole thing, something he couldn't do last time he was in town. But only if he feels like it.

Videos of his press conference after the jump.

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Video: Chris Pronger is Not in Good Shape

Kyle Scott - March 7, 2013

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Here’s a heartbreaking interview with Chris Pronger from SportsNet in Canada. Excerpts from the interview, including this one…

“What’s happened was I had 30-year-old eyes. I got hit and the doctor told me I had 60-year-old eyes,” the former Hartford Whaler, St. Louis Blue, Edmonton Oiler, Anaheim Duck and Philadelphia Flyer tells Murphy. “I don’t have very good peripheral vision. That so-called sixth sense? I used to really have a good one. Now, I couldn’t feel anybody comin’ around a corner. My kids scare me all the time.

“That used to be what I was known for: knowing where everybody was; having a feel for who was around me. Now I don’t have that.”

 

… were posted yesterday, with the two-part interview airing later in the day. 

Pronger won’t say he’s retiring, but it doesn’t look and sound good.

Watch it, after the jump.

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Sports Betting Updates

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DraftKings Sportsbook Review

DraftKings Sportsbook has been live in New Jersey for over two full months now and a lot has changed since launch. While they were the first out of the gate for legal US sports betting, they now face competition from many sites, including FanDuel Sportsbook, SugarHouse Sportsbook, BetStars and others. How do they stack up and what promos does DraftKings Sportsbook offer? Let’s take a closer look. Bonus: First bet matched up to $200 Minimum

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Every New Jersey Sportsbook Promo You Need To Know This Weekend

Black Friday is just about a week away, and if you’re like me, you could probably use some extra spending money to take advantage of all the hot deals that will soon be out there. Good news. There will be plenty of betting opportunities to find some winners this weekend. It’s Week 11 in the NFL and the race for the playoffs is revving up. Every Top 25 college football team is in action. There’s

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Legal Sports Betting Officially Arrives in Pennsylvania

The first legal sports bet in Pennsylvania was placed earlier today at Hollywood Casino at Penn National Race Course in Grantville. JUST IN: @PNGamingInc has begun a testing period of accepting the first sports bets in Pennsylvania. The sports book inside the Hollywood Casino at Penn National Race Course is expected to be fully operational this Monday at 11 a.m. — Darren Rovell (@darrenrovell) November 15, 2018 The casino, located about 17 miles east of

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In Other News, Chris Pronger Looks Like He’s 78-Years-Old

Kyle Scott - January 14, 2013

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Looks like Prongs will be hanging around the Flyers, helping out.

UPDATE: Chris Pronger’s House (Which He Rents) Appears to be For Sale

Kyle Scott - June 14, 2012

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According to Twitter user (@briannawrist), the house Chris Pronger lives in is for sale.

Briana, who says she lives down the street from the Flyers’ captain, tweeted

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She was kind enough to go snap a picture for us, which you see above. Here’s the listing of what is confirmed to be his address– $1.5 million and it's yours.

A few weeks ago, some saw a moving van in front of the house, leading to speculation that Pronger was retiring. Or at least moving somewhere.

The Flyers quickly addressed the rumors, with sometimes fibber Paul Holmgren telling Philly.com that Pronger was going to spend some time with family in St. Louis: [Philly.com]

“There’s no truth to him retiring,” Holmgren said.

Because of an illness in his wife’s family, the Prongers are apparently going to spend some time in St. Louis, Holmgren said.

 

If him moving means the worst, it's obviously sad to see. There has been no official announcement from the team or Pronger. Nor will there be– a retirement announcement would cost the Flyers a cap hit. That's why Ian Laperriere waited until his contract expired at the end of this season to announce his retirement. And selling a house might not mean anything more than the house is for sale. But we can probably assume that it means more than that.

UPDATE: We're told that the house is owned by former Flyer Jason Smith, who was renting to Pronger. Regardless, Pronger has been living there – that part is confirmed – and now he's not. That's about as much as anyone knows.

Paul Holmgren Refutes Pronger Retirement Rumor

Kyle Scott - June 1, 2012

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Photo: Getty

Known liar Paul Holmgren addressed rumors that Chris Pronger was retiring and moving to St. Louis. Speaking to the Inquirer’s Sam Carchidi yesterday, Holmgren said: [Philly.com]

“There’s no truth to him retiring,” Holmgren said.

Because of an illness in his wife’s family, the Prongers are apparently going to spend some time in St. Louis, Holmgren said.

 

Holmgren added that Pronger was still experiencing headaches.

The rumor of his retirement popped up on Twitter, when some, like this guy…

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… saw moving trucks outside Pronger’s home in New Jersey. Moving for three months (or whatever some time is) doesn’t usually require a moving truck… but most of us aren’t millionaires and can’t afford to hire one to take Little Johnny’s PS3 and longboard on a comfy ride halfway across this vast expanse known as America.

Anyway, Homer says Pronger is not retiring and we’re not going to speculate further, for now. At some point this summer, an update on Pronger's concussion is going to be needed, though.

The Sad State of Chris Pronger

Kyle Scott - March 30, 2012

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We knew Chris Pronger wasn’t doing so well. When he skipped a charity fashion show, planned by him and his wife Lauren, his significant other informed the media that her husband was still having “good days and bad days.” It’s a sad reality for Pronger, who has rarely even been around the team of late (once since his concussion, I believe).

So, today, when the Flyers posed for their team picture, Pronger was there in spirit… or in the form of a Flyers front office member:

 

Creepy, actually. But sad. Sad, too.

Other news from Flyers practice: Reporters, um, report that Bryz looked sharped in drills. He even got all silly again when he said: "You going to put in newspaper that Bryzgalov is practicing?" Oh Bryz, Russian goaltender so lovable when he stop puck.

Morning Puck: Bad Day

Kyle Scott - December 16, 2011

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Lavs did his best to avoid lamenting Pronger's concussion

Well, here we are– sans captain.

When the Flyers traded Mike Richards and Jeff Carter, some of the concern surrounding the moves was over likely naming Chris Pronger – an aging, injury prone defenseman – captain. What if he got hurt? What if he only had a few years left in the tank? Those were both reasonable questions that came with disturbing answers. Now, one of those frightening consequences is coming to fruition, but for a reason that is as random as it is unfortunate.

Obviously, a concussion is not an injury based on age– so it’s not fair, nor accurate, to put blame on anyone. But, the reality is – based on many factors – that the Flyers had a lot of eggs in the Pronger basket. And as well as the team is playing right now, they are going to have to fill his void if they want to compete for the Stanley Cup. They're not built, as is, to win without him for a prolonged period.

Being Flyers captain has not been a desirous place to be. Four of the last six to hold the position have suffered a range of unfortunate fates: Keith Primeau (career ended due to concussions), Peter Forsberg (odd foot injury killed last few years of his career), Mike Richards (shot by Paul Holmgren), Pronger (???). And how ironic (unfortunate) is it that the week Eric Lindros returned to Philadelphia, the team's current captain's season was lost due to the same injury that plagued 88?

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Will Pronger ever play again? None of us know. But it’s entirely possible that his career is over. The concussion is just the icing on the cake for a player who has suffered a myriad other injuries over the last few seasons. And the fact that yet another high-profile player may have a career shortened (or hampered) by a concussion will only further the bubbling debate surrounding head injuries in hockey (the HBO cameras don't hurt, either).

What about the Flyers, though? Well, Pronger will need to be replaced. The defense is not good enough as is, and the Flyers aren’t going to be able to outscore everybody, especially once the playoffs come around. At some point, they are going to have to win games by stopping the other team, and they’re not built to do that sans Pronger.

Oh yeah… and there's that whole Giroux thing, too.

The Flyers won – impressively, I might add – last night, 4-3. Some statisticals to put their early success in its proper context:

The Flyers move to 12-3-1 on the road this season, giving them 25 points in road games.  In terms of points, it ties them with the 1979-80 team for the best road record after 16 games in franchise history (79-80 team was 10-1-5 for 25 points after 16 road games).  It’s the most road wins in 16 road games in franchise history.

The Flyers won their seventh consecutive game.  It’s the longest winning streak the Flyers have strung together since an eight-game streak from Jan. 6-19, 2002.  

 

Your full highlights are after the jump.

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Chris Pronger Out For Remainder of Season

Kyle Scott - December 15, 2011

image from mobilwi.typepad.com

Ah shit. 

Here’s the official statement from Paul Holmgren:

“After consultation with respected concussion specialists Dr. Joseph Maroon and Dr. Micky Collins, it is the opinion of both doctors that Chris is suffering from severe post concussion syndrome. It is the recommendation of Doctors Maroon and Collins that Chris not return to play for the Philadelphia Flyers for the remainder of the 2011-12 season or playoffs.  Chris will continue to receive treatment and therapy with the hope that he can get better.” 

 

When Pronger went to Pittsburgh to visit with Maroon and Collins, and we had to wait two days for an update, you knew it wasn’t going to be good news.