Philadelphia Flyers forward Maxime Talbot once before has experienced the trials and tribulations of losing his captain for a large portion of the season.
It happened last seaons when Talbot was a member of the Pittsburgh Penguins and star center Sidney Crosby missed the final 41 regular-season games and the playoffs because of symptoms stemming from a concussion.
The 27-year-old Talbot must feel a bit snake-bitten these days. On Thursday, one of the newest members of the Flyers learned defenseman Chris Pronger would be sidelined the remainder of the regular season and playoffs with a similar diagnosis.
Flyers general manager Paul Holmgren met with the media Friday at the Virtua Center Flyers Skate Zone in Voorhees, N.J., to discuss Pronger's condition and his team's future. He admitted Pronger was devastated when told he would not play again this season.
"We sensed something was wrong with Chris, but I don't think anyone expected (a season-ending concussion)," Holmgren said.
"When Sid went down, our younger guys were coming from the [American Hockey League] and playing a big role for us. It's tough because you lose your captain … you're missing leadership. But at the same time, everyone needs to give a little bit more. You can't just stop playing. It's unfortunate and you can't say it enough because he's a huge part of the team, but we need to keep on playing." -- Max Talbot
"That's where things came to a head," Holmgren said.
Pronger has appeared in only 13 games this season, notching 1 goal and 11 assists. He played in the first eight games of the season before suffering an eye injury after taking an errant stick to the face following a shot by Toronto's Mikhail Grabovski in the first period of a Flyers victory Oct. 24.
That eye injury, according to Holmgren, turned out to be more serious than originally thought.
Holmgren informed the media that Pronger would be sidelined the rest of the season just prior to Philadelphia's game against the Montreal Canadiens on Thursday.
"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," Holmgren said in a statement. "It is the recommendation of Drs. Maroon and Collins that Chris not return for the remainder of the 2011-12 season or playoffs."
With Pronger and and leading scorer Claude Giroux, who also is out indefinitely with a concussion, Holmgren said he will do everything he can to help improve the team "now and for the future."
Flyers prepare without ProngerArpon Basu - NHL.com Staff Writer
The Philadelphia Flyers learned after Thursday's 4-3 win in Montreal that they'll be without captain Chris Pronger for the rest of the season. They're doing their best to stay positive. READ MORE ›
Talbot was asked Thursday how the Penguins dealt with losing their captain for the duration of the 2010-11 season.
"When Sid went down, our younger guys were coming from the (American Hockey League) and playing a big role for us," Talbot said. "It's tough because you lose your captain … you're missing leadership. But at the same time, everyone needs to give a little bit more. You can't just stop playing. It's unfortunate and you can't say it enough because he's a huge part of the team, but we need to keep on playing."
In addition to his eye injury and concussion, Pronger also underwent arthroscopic surgery to clean out his left knee Dec. 2 -- his fifth surgery in 16 months.
On Dec. 9, Holmgren had told reporters that Pronger "has struggled with other issues that are concussion-like symptoms."
"We didn't know what his injury was all about," Talbot said. "We heard about the knee and then the concussion. It's unfortunate and it's not fun. He's a big part of our team but we need to keep battling."
Follow Mike Morreale on Twitter at: @mike_morreale