Legendary defenseman Chris Pronger was inducted today into the Hockey Hall of Fame in Toronto, Ontario. In 1,167 games with the Hartford Whalers, St. Louis Blues, Edmonton Oilers, Ducks and Philadelphia Flyers, Pronger had 157 goals and 698 points. He had 26 goals and 121 points in 173 Stanley Cup Playoff games.
Pronger won the Stanley Cup as an alternate captain with the Ducks in 2007, and he helped the Oilers (2006) and Flyers (2010) reach the Final. He is one of two defensemen to win the Hart and Norris trophies in the same season, doing so in 2000 (Bobby Orr, Boston Bruins, 1970, 1971, 1972).
Pronger also is a member of the IIHF Triple Gold Club, winning a gold medal with Canada at the Olympics (2002, 2010) and World Championship (1997) to go with the Stanley Cup.
Also inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame was Sergei Fedorov, who registered 31 goals and 66 points in 85 games with Anaheim from 2003-05. Fedorov is the all-time leading scorer among Russians with 483 goals and 696 assists for 1,179 points in 1,248 NHL games. He made a name for himself with the Detroit Red Wings, where he scored 400 goals and 954 points in 908 games. He would win the Stanley Cup three times with the Red Wings and score 176 points in 183 Stanley Cup Playoff games. Fedorov won the Hart Trophy as the NHL's most valuable player once and the Selke Trophy as its top defensive forward twice.
Former teammates Ryan Getzlaf (2006-09) and Shawn Horcoff (2005-06), and Ducks head coach Bruce Boudreau shared their thoughts on Pronger.
On what he meant to the team
The biggest thing with him when he got here was accountability. Anyone who has played with him knows he treats everybody the same. Good, bad or indifferent, it’s a certain standard he likes to hold in the locker room. It helped push us over the edge. He was an outstanding player on the ice, but that presence he brought was second to none.
He was the biggest presence I’ve ever played with. He could really control a game by himself physically. He played such big minutes. He was always on the ice. He played on the power play and played in every situation. He was a true leader. He’s a guy who gave you confidence going into a game. You knew you were going to have a chance to win no matter who you were playing against.
On what he learned from Pronger
Professionalism, first off. He was definitely one of the better pros I’ve ever played with. His preparation; his confidence was another big thing. There wasn’t any wavering with him. He was always confident he was going to be able to control the situation and have a positive impact on the game. You saw what he did for our team. We went to the Final and lost in Game 7. He was such a huge part in that. I think he led our team in scoring that year as a defenseman. He came here [to Anaheim] the next year and won. Everywhere he’s went he’s had success. That’s no secret.
On what comes to mind when he hears the name Chris Pronger
Ouch. Seriously. Don’t turn your back. If you’re going into a corner with him, something is going to be jarred by the time you come out of there. He’s a tough dude. Plus, the other thing I think of – and I didn’t play against him, I just coached against him for a bit – was his composure with the puck on the power play. He just always had it back there. He gets every shot through. He was aiming for sticks. He knew what he was doing. He was like a general out there. With his size and strength, everybody respected him an awful lot.