Jun 24, 2011, 11:56 AM EDT
We polled you earlier on whether you thought the Flyers were closer to winning a Stanley Cup after Jeff Carter and Mike Richards were traded away and Ilya Bryzgalov was locked up long-term. During his conference call this afternoon, Chris Pronger was asked the same question.
Is the team closer to winning a Cup now?
“I don’t know. I haven’t really thought about that too much. I just heard about the trades last night so I haven’t really put a whole lot of thought to it, I’m up in the bush with my kids, fishing. I haven’t put the Xs and Os together – I’m sure you guys have looked at it seven ways from Sunday and tried to figure out who wins or loses. At the end of the day, as I said before, having been traded a number of times, it’s always difficult. They both played their hearts out in Philly, but sometimes as I said, you’ve got to make tough decisions and you’ve got to make moves, and sometimes it may hurt and may feel like you’re making your team worse to make it better,” Pronger said. [full transcript below]
What was your reaction to yesterday’s events?
“I think when you make a move like that to get a goalie and you’ve got to pay him, you’ve got to get the money somewhere. Time and again in the salary cap era, you’ve got to give to get. Unfortunately for us, those two guys were traded. It sucks as a teammate. You hate to see guys go. They were for all intents and purposes the face of the franchise for four of those six years, if not for the six years they were here. I’m sure it’s tough for them. The Philadelphia Flyers, it’s all they really know. I’ve gone through it a number of times, and sometimes a move is healthy for you.”
Were you able to reach out to Jeff or Mike?
“I’m going to give them a call today. Having gone through it a number of times, you kind of need a day to gather your thoughts and kind of get your wits about you. It’s certainly not an easy thing. I think it makes it a little bit easier that they’re both single and don’t have to lug around kids and logistically and that stuff, but it’s still very tough to be traded and I’m sure both of them have mixed emotions.”
Is the team closer to winning a Cup now?
“I don’t know. I haven’t really thought about that too much. I just heard about the trades last night so I haven’t really put a whole lot of thought to it, I’m up in the bush with my kids, fishing. I haven’t put the Xs and Os together – I’m sure you guys have looked at it seven ways from Sunday and tried to figure out who wins or loses. At the end of the day, as I said before, having been traded a number of times, it’s always difficult. They both played their hearts out in Philly, but sometimes as I said, you’ve got to make tough decisions and you’ve got to make moves, and sometimes it may hurt and may feel like you’re making your team worse to make it better.”
Does this team have a better locker room today?
“I don’t know. I don’t really know those other guys they brought in. I played against Wayne Simmonds for one or two years when I was in Anaheim, but other than that, when you play on the East Coast, you don’t really play the West very often, and vice-versa. When I was coming out here I didn’t really know many of the guys here, because I’d played in the West pretty much my whole career. I can’t really speak to that right now, having no luxury to know any of the three guys we picked up.”
Did you think there was a problem in the room?
“I don’t think anybody would say a year ago when we went to the Stanley Cup Final that there was a chemistry problem. [That year] I think our play was very inconsistent, and we were trying to find ourselves as a team with a new coach and a new system. I think the players were trying to find where they needed to be and how we needed to play to be successful as a group. Last year, you’re coming off a tough defeat in the Stanley Cup Final in overtime, we got off to a good start, and nobody seemed to think we had a problem then. As the season wore on, for whatever reason, we just didn’t turn that corner and continue to get better and peak at the right time. That’s disappointing, and it’s tough. I don’t think there was necessarily a rift, I think we just needed more life in the locker room. It all has to do with your play on the ice. If you’re playing well on the ice, there’s never any questions as to who’s doing what or is there a rift, does this guy like that guy, and all of the rest of the stuff that gets thrown out. If you play well on the ice, nobody wants to write about that because everything’s going good.”
Do you want to be the captain?
“You know what, I haven’t put much thought in it to be honest with you. This is all very, very fresh to a lot of us. Obviously I’d have to talk to Homer and Lavi and see what their thoughts are, and kind of go from there. You don’t nominate yourself. I’ve never been part of a team where somebody nominates himself. I think that may be a little bit premature to start talking about stuff like that. It’s one day after two huge trades on our team and in the history of the Flyers, so I don’t think that’s in anybody’s minds right now.”
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