Flyers sign Pronger to extension
Chris Pronger may get to finish his NHL career with Philadelphia after all.
One day after announcing at his introductory press conference that he would "love to finish his career" with the Flyers, Pronger agreed to a seven-year, $34.9 million extension.
Pronger will earn $6.5 million this season. The extension will begin in 2010-11. He will make $7.6 million in the first two years, $7.2 million in 2012-13, $7 million in 2013-14, $4 million in 2014-15, and $525,000 in both 2015-16 and 2016-17.
"We are pleased to have one of the NHL's premier defensemen in our organization and under contract long term," Flyers GM Paul Holmgren said in a statement. "When we made the trade for Chris, it was our intention to get him signed to an extension and we are glad we could come to this agreement today."
The Flyers acquired Pronger, and forward Ryan Dingle from the Anaheim Ducks on Day 1 of the NHL Entry Draft in exchange for forward Joffrey Lupul, defenseman Luca Sbisa, the Ducks' first round picks in 2009 and 2010, and a conditional third round pick.
"I am very excited to be able to retire a Philadelphia Flyer and I am looking forward to many years with the Flyers logo on my chest," Pronger said in a statement announcing the deal. "I think both parties wanted to get it handled in a timely fashion in order to move on and get things set up for future years down the line so that the Flyers could make moves either this year or next year, and know that they had me in place."
The Flyers are Pronger's fifth NHL team. He was drafted second overall in 1993 by Hartford and spent the majority of his career in St. Louis before he was traded to Edmonton in 2005 in a four-player deal. After the 2005-06 season, Pronger famously demanded a trade from Edmonton, citing family concerns. In July of 2006, Pronger was dealt to Anaheim for Lupul, Ladislav Smid, and three draft picks. Pronger won the Stanley Cup with Anaheim in 2007.
Last season, Pronger scored 11 goals and 48 points and notched 88 penalty minutes in 82 games. For his career, Pronger has 142 goals and 606 points in 1,022 games.
The five-time All-Star is known for his physical style and punishing hits and has been suspended on numerous occasions.
"I think he plays with an attitude. That's what you love about him," Flyers coach John Stevens said at Pronger's introductory press conference Monday.
The Flyers, known for years as the Broad Street Bullies for an aggressive playing style that dates back to the 1970s, acquired Pronger in order to match up with Eastern Conference stars Sidney Crosby and Alex Ovechkin.
Philadelphia hasn't hoisted the Cup since winning the second of back-to-back titles in 1975.
"I think I'm probably a big piece," Pronger said at his Monday conference. "I don't think I'm the key piece. The key piece is the group coming together at the right time and having that chemistry."
Pronger won the Hart Memorial Trophy for league MVP and the James Norris Memorial Trophy as NHL's best defenseman in 1999-00.
Information from ESPN.com's Pierre LeBrun and The Associated Press was used in this report.
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