Pronger On the Shelf for the Rest of the Season

The concussion injury has claimed its next victim. It was announced by Philadelphia Flyers General Manager Paul Holmgren that their top defensive player Chris Pronger will be out for the rest of the season and playoffs due to severe post-concussion syndrome. This announcement comes after Pronger had knee surgery last month.

Pronger, who has only played 13 games this season, is coming off of a 2010-2011 campaign where he was limited to 50 games due to broken bones. At 37 years of age, one has to wonder if this concussion will sideline Pronger for good. Although despite his age, he has proven to be a very productive player for the Flyers, notching 1 goal and 11 assists in those 13 games. The contract that he signed in 2009 has him with the team until after the 2016-2017 season with an annual cap hit of $4.92M per.

Pronger is not the only one suffering a concussion. Fellow teammate and NHL points leader, Claude Giroux, is also out indefinitely. Holmgren has not ruled Giroux out for the season as the Flyers are following a wait and see protocol. A quick look around the league will allow you to see a long list of players who have suffered from concussions or concussion like symptoms:

  1. Brayden Schenn – Flyers
  2. Milan Michalek – Senators
  3. Zbynek Michalek – Penguins
  4. Sidney Crosby – Penguins
  5. Kris Letang – Penguins
  6. Marc Staal – Rangers
  7. Jeff Skinner – Hurricanes
  8. Joni Pitkanen – Hurricanes
  9. Marcel Goc – Panthers
  10. Mike Richards – Kings
  11. Peter Mueller – Avalanche
  12. Nino Niederreiter – Islanders
  13. Brian Rolston – Islanders
  14. Nathan Gerbe – Sabres
  15. Marek Zidlicky – Wild
  16. Andy McDonald – Blues
  17. Jay Beagle – Capitals

As this continues to grow, the league has to wonder if a change to the rulebooks is in the works. If they decide to keep the rules the same, equipment companies could be pressured into completely redesign the helmets the players use. Bolstering the headgear could eliminate some of the issues at hand. Either way, this growing injury list will be a hot button topic in the offseason and may even force a few moves regarding CBA negotiations.