In news that should surprise no one, Flyers defenseman Chris Pronger has been named the 18th captain in the organization’s history.
“With Chris’s experience and presence, we felt that he was the perfect player to take over as captain of the Philadelphia Flyers,” Flyers general manager Paul Holmgren said in announcing the move, via csnphilly.com.
The spot was opened up when former captain Mike Richards was booted out of town and traded to Los Angeles this offseason. And while some discussion could be had that veterans Danny Briere or Kimmo Timmonen would have been solid options, Pronger has always seemed the logical choice. Some even thought the C should have been taken from Richards the moment Pronger joined the Flyers, but even if that had happend it’s unlikely Pronger would have been any different, and it’s unlikely he’ll change now as well.
“I don’t think so,” Pronger said regarding the question of changing things up. “You have to be who you are and play the way you always played, whether you have a letter on your jersey or not. If you’re a leader, lead. If you’re a quiet, unassuming type of guy, who just goes out and works hard and plays to the best of his ability, then do that.
“Don’t do anything outside your comfort zone or outside anything you have done to this point to be successful. Everybody who comes into that locker room and wears the jersey and that Flyer emblem has done something to impress upon somebody that they’re going to provide something our team needs. I don’t think they need to change that one bit.”
As part of the announcement, Holmgren confirmed that Briere and Timmonen were options as well, with them serving as alternates.
“Having Kimmo and Danny, both former captains in the NHL, serving as alternates, really gives us a strong, dedicated leadership group.
“All three of these players know what it takes to win and are excellent role models both on and off the ice.”
The new captain’s role was announced right before the opening of Flyers training camp Saturday. Hopefully Pronger can stay healthy enough to continue to lead by example on as well as off the ice.