The injury bug that hits every NHL team tends to stay hidden during the playoffs, and it isn’t until the offseason that serious injuries become known to the public. Philadelphia Flyers fans were given a bit of bad news yesterday when defenseman Chris Pronger revealed that an injury taken during the second round of the playoffs this past season will cause him to miss, at the very least, training camp.
“It was a three-minute shift to start the overtime in Game 1 against Boston. About a minute in I was in front of the net when there was a scrum. I was on my knees and I got bent backward. I heard a big crunch,“ Pronger told reporters.
He went on to say that he had his knee drained of fluids several times during their Stanley Cup run, which may have ultimately led to why Pronger looked so gassed in the Finals. The news may not sound promising heading into next season, but the moves that Flyers general manager Paul Holmgren made to improve the defense this offseason will mitigate the effect that this could have on the team.
I’ve certainly been very critical of Homer this summer, as I don’t believe he’s managed the contracts or salaries of the team particularly well and he has already put himself at a disadvantage heading into the next offseason. The defense that he’s built, however, will allow for injuries like Pronger’s to accrue during the season with little effect on the back end. The Flyers should watch Pronger’s rehabilitation carefully over the next two months and return him to the line-up when he’s fully healed, as opposed to rushing him out for opening night.