Monday, October 31, 2016

Chris Pronger Jersey Card

Time for the final entry in my Month Of Scary...

Once (maybe twice) every decade, a truly elite player joins the NHL with something more than the sum of just his talents; his meanness and penchant for dirty hits make him twice as dangerous, as opponents never know what to expect from him.

The 1910s brought us Sprague Cleghorn, the 1920s and 1930s are still synonymous with Eddie Shore, the 1940s and 1950s had Gordie Howe, the 1970s gave us Bobby Clarke, the 1980s brought us Mark Messier and Chris Chelios, the 1990s gave us Eric Lindros and Chris Pronger, the 2000s made way for Zdeno Chara and the 2010s, apparently, have Brad Marchand, as he's now a 30-goal scorer and World Cup champion with Team Canada.

Of note that I specified "truly elite", which is why very good players like Vincent Damphousse and Brendan Shanahan were omitted from this list.

Which brings me to Pronger who, like Shanahan before him, went from bruiser to working with the league's suspension-regulating committee, the Department of Player Safety, along with fellow former heavy hitters Rob Blake and Stéphane Quintal, the head of the department.

Yes, it's ironic that players who did get into trouble with questionable hits in their own time now get to dish out the punishment to those who do it now, but Pronger may be the weirdest of all; not only is he still being paid as an "active/concussed" player who hasn't played in a game since the 2011-12 season, but he's also a guy who was once suspended twice in the same seven-game playoff series.

The five-time All-Star and four-time Team Canada Olympian (winning gold in 2002 and 2010) is thus still feared by NHLers, it's just that he now does it in a suit and tie.

Here he is sporting the Anaheim Ducks' black uniform from the mid-00s, on card #HS-CP from Upper Deck's 2007-08 Trilogy set and Honorary Swatches sub-set:
It features a small matching game-worn jersey swatch.

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