The city of Dryden, Ontario celebrated 'Chris Pronger Day' Wednesday with a parade and ceremony at the city's Memorial Arena. Fans came from as far away as Southern Minnesota and Laval, Quebec just to see Pronger and the Stanley Cup he brought with him.
"It's nice to bring the Cup home to the people you grew up with and supported you all the years you played minor hockey and all the way up through the ranks," Pronger said. "It's nice to see the smiles on their faces when you bring it back."
At the Arena, the Anaheim defenseman addressed some 2,000 people who waited nearly 2 hours to see him, and he spoke of the joy of returning to the city he once called home. Pronger was then congratulated by former High School Coach Jack McMaster, Dryden Mayor Anne Krassilowsky and Kenora MP Roger Valley.
Mayor Krassilowsky announced that Arena #2 will now be known as the "Chris Pronger Arena" and the High School retired Pronger’s #14 jersey, which he wore in Grade 9 playing with the Eagles.
Pronger then stayed for another two hours to pose for pictures with anxious fans who wanted to capture the truly special moment.
Earlier in the day, Pronger visited a local hospital, where he introduced the Cup to young patients in the Oncology Unit. He also paid a visit to the Dryden Fire Hall.
On the arena being named in his honor
On being able to bring the Cup home
On the crowd that gathered to see him and the Cup
On the Ducks' season