Flyers general manager Paul Holmgren has announced that captain Chris Pronger will miss the remainder of the season, including the playoffs, due to concussion issues.
“After consultation with respected concussion specialists Dr. Joseph Maroon and Dr. Micky Collins, it is the opinion of both doctors that Chris is suffering from severe post concussion syndrome,” Holmgren said Thursday. “It is the recommendation of Doctors Maroon and Collins that Chris not return to play for the Philadelphia Flyers for the remainder of the 2011-12 season or playoffs. Chris will continue to receive treatment and therapy with the hope that he can get better.”
It’s still unclear how Pronger sustained the concussion. It’s possible the stick he took to the eye/face/head back in October was the catalyst, with further hard hits in November exacerbating the issue.
This is terrible news for a Flyers team who despite getting blown up in the offseason was poised to compete for a Cup. Now, who knows? Of course, the Flyers are 11-4-1 in games Pronger has missed already this season so this may not be the end of the world. But that’s likely wishful thinking.
The Flyers still have NHL points leader Claude Giroux, but he himself is battling concussion issues. Without their arguably two most important players it’s likely going to be very hard for the Flyers to remain at the top of the Eastern Conference.
Pronger’s replacement on the ice has been Marc-Andre Bourdon. And while no one will mistake him for Pronger, the rookie has played pretty well. Now he’s going to need to step up even more.
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