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The Pronger trade


yave1964
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The Flyers traded for Chris Pronger of the Anaheim Ducks, Trading Luca Sbisa, Joffrey Lupul, a2009 first rounder (John Moore) and a 2010 first rounder (Emerson Etem).

The question is, knowing what you know naw, would you do the deal all over again?

Chris Pronger CARRIED the Flyers to a Stanley Cup final that they quite frankly had no business being in. Without him, the playoffs that year would have never been reached, a return to significance came with him, his tragic injury has shortened his career, but an amazing run will be his Philadelphia legacy, as it was in Anaheim in 2007 and Edmonton in 2006. One of the best big series players of all time.

They gave up:

Joffrey Lupul, a solid scoring wing who is injury prone but when healthy is a top six forward

Luca Sbisa A minute eating blue liner with a bit of scoring touch and a tough streak

Emerson Etem A very solid prospect with scoring touch, not embarrassing himself in the NHL right now

John Moore With the Jackets. Big strong defensemen still finding his way but a top prospect with offensive upside.

This trade reminds me for all of the world of a baseball trade in 1987, the Tigers traded a minor league prospect John Smoltz to the Braves for Doyle Alexander, a veteran mercenary pitcher. Alexander went 11-0 leading the Tigers to a division title over the much more talented Blue Jays team. They lost in the playoffs quickly to the Twins, Alexander was never as good, and Smoltz went on to be one of the top pitchers of his generation.

So again, the question is simple, would you do the Pronger deal again? Lupul in the top six, Sbisa eating minutes, Moore and Etem, they would fill out the roster nicely, but there would have been no Pronger led cup run.

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In my mind, one can't go back and "revise" history. Given the current standing of all the trade pieces, no one in their right mind makes that trade. NO ONE.

That being said, very few people, even "astute" hockey minds, had little issue with the trade when it happened. Lupul was the first of the old Center City party crew that was shipped out, and everyone was glad he was gone(from a fan standpoint). He accomplished very little as a Flyer. Sbisa was an up and coming prospect, no doubt, and IMO, was the key player in that trade. Most people knew he had the potential to be an accomplished defenseman in the league for a long time. I saw him play in Hershey, when he was with the Phantoms, and the kid just stood out above everyone else. The draft picks at the time, were just that, draft picks. Impossible to predict who they would be used on, and how those players would have/have turned out.

Pronger was exactly what the Flyers needed, at that time...an unquestioned leader, a rock on the blueline, and a player that had experience leading teams thru the playoffs.

So, to answer your question, I think the Flyers made a good trade, at that time. Most everyone did. Looking back, it would appear they massively overpaid, given Pronger's injury/end of career, and the upward track of the kids traded in that pick. If Pronger was still healthy, playing 20+ mins a night, and being, well, Chris Pronger..I think the trade would be viewed differently.

Edited by DaGreatGazoo
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If we had won the Cup then the trade was worth it but now looking back on it, it's not a good move as we gave up alot for him. I didn't like the trade at the time, we always trade for player(s) that is old and kinda past their prime. If we had kept Sbisa and then drafted Carlson with the 2nd 1st round pick instead of trading for Eminger, our defense would not be in as bad shape as it is now. As for the other 2 1st round pick, we have no clue as to what they would have drafted but it would help us in the prospect pool right now. I would love a do over on that trade and would have kept Bob as our starting goalie instead of Bryz. Look how young our team would be and a good future ahead but we are always in the same position year after year with defense and goalie trouble.

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Hated the trade from the moment it happened. Was a Pronger fan from his Peterborough days, but I also knew he'd played a LOT of hockey, and most of it was tough. it was only a matter of time before he started breaking down. And I thought we gave up way too much youth. We're seeing the effects of losing basically 4- 1st round picks for nothing now.

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I remember being bummed about Sbisa being included in the deal, we all thought he was going to be a good player. I wasn't sold on Pronger until I saw what he brought in person, had his career not ended when it did last season, I think the Flyers would be a different team and in a different place in the standings.

At the time I was cautiously optimistic , today with the way things turned out ...well we're seeing the results.

No one can see the future, if you're that guy who can , obviously you wouldn't make the deal.

Like DGG said no one misses Lupul, the picks, well we'd have a few more centers to be playing wing...who knows whom the Flyers would have chosen.

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Absolutely I'd do it again. Lupul had to go before his contract and NMC kicked in, and he was playing uninspired hockey to put it kindly. Sbisa was a case of pay to play, but as hard as he worked, he wasn't much of anything yet. Draft picks are a crapshoot.

Fact of the matter is, Pronger was one of the best defenseman in the NHL at the time of the trade. If it wasn't for a nice O&B curse-induced fluke of an injury, he would still be playing, and the team would be working a hell of a lot harder for each other. Who knows how much better the current team would be - and how much future decisions change (Carle retained / ignoring Suter/Weber? Never signing Gervais/Foster? Never trading for Eminger?)

In today's terms, if you're asking if I'd trade Matt Read, Gus, and picks for Chara/Kronwall - you bet. And Pronger was better than both of those guys.

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@yave1964 - I wasn't crazy about the trade when it happened, I really liked what I had seen of Sbisa, so no, I wouldn't do it again. I would also disagree with the statement that Pronger carried the Flyers to the finals. He didn't. He was a leader and an important piece of the team, but the defense overall was solid then, especially Timonen and Coburn. Michael Leighton caught lighting in a bottle and played probably the best hockey of his life (until the finals anyway). Briere led all scorers in the playoffs, add in some clutch play by the likes of Richards and Gagne (as I'm sure Bruins fans will remember) and I think it was a team effort.

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@yave1964 I have the same problem as fc does with the trade. It's never smart to trade the future ie prospects and picks for a guy who has *that* much wear and tear on his body. If Pronger was 5 years younger, I would have been a lot more comfortable. The problem is this, the team trading him has the most insight on how many years Chris would have left to play.....they see first hand the daily wear and tear, the pain he is in, his pain treshhold, how the specific injuries effect his one the ice play, how quickly he had regressed due to the injuries, how it effects his everyday life off the ice etc.

I suspect if Pronger was 5 years younger, he would not have been dealt in the first place...in short, they saw us coming. They knew he did not have many years left, and dealt him to stock the cupboards before everyone caught on that he would be done in a short time frame. You gotta remember, Pronger had played 173 playoff games, more than 2 full seasons (on top of his 18 alredy played) of super stressful, super physical wars. People forget to calucalte that, when guaging who long he can compete going forwards.

Lupul, dispite his rise in Toronto, was a USELESS player in Philly. He mailed it in on a nightly basis. He was not big loss, he was never gonna put up the numbers in Philly that he does in Toronto. The big loss, in my opinion, was Emerson Etem. Sure, we may not have picked him in that spot, but he is a excellent young prospect that skates like the wind and can dangle with the best of them. Sbisa is turning into a very dependable rearguard who has still not reached his full potential....he's only going to get bettter. Sbisa would be our best d-man right now. When you factor in skating and hitting, he is way out in front of any current Flyers blue-liner, Grossman can hit, but the can't skate for example.

I would not have done this deal when it went down, and would not do it today, if I had a chance to go back in time. It's just never, ever smart to deal picks and prospects for a guy who has been through *so* much in his very long career. Like I said, the Ducks saw us coming.

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Every team has its share of deals they would like to have back, both those they made and those they wish they had. As a Wing fan I was ready to throttle Kenny Holland for his leaving the team out on a limb with a few pieces messing last year, refusing to trade a Tatar or Nyquist for a sniper. Now Nyquist and Tatar look like top nine forwards for the foreseeable future.

The Flyers went for it. It almost worked out. I love to hate Pronger, he personally killed the Wings more than any player in the past quarter century of excellence not named Lemieux. But lets look at the two trades for Pronger right before this.

The Blues shipped him to the Oilers before the 05-06 season for Eric Brewer, Jeff Woywitka and Doug Lynch. Essentially they received nothing back.

The Oilers traded him to the Ducks for Lupul, Ladislav Smid and a package of picks including the pick in which the Oilers chose Jordan Eberle. The Ducks won a cup, but way, way overpaid.

Then the Ducks dealt him to the Flyers for their package.

The Oilers were the big winner in these deals IMO, Eberle and Smid plus a final appearance with Pronger, The Ducks are right there, they won a cup then dumped him to Philly for a nice package. It Worked for the Oilers. It worked with the Ducks. If it had not been for the Injury Pronger would have continued his excellent hall of fame career at a top level.

Stud d-men are hard to near impossible to get. You have to overpay. You cannot blame the Flyers for giving it a shot.

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In my mind, one can't go back and "revise" history. Given the current standing of all the trade pieces, no one in their right mind makes that trade. NO ONE.

That being said, very few people, even "astute" hockey minds, had little issue with the trade when it happened. Lupul was the first of the old Center City party crew that was shipped out, and everyone was glad he was gone(from a fan standpoint). He accomplished very little as a Flyer. Sbisa was an up and coming prospect, no doubt, and IMO, was the key player in that trade. Most people knew he had the potential to be an accomplished defenseman in the league for a long time. I saw him play in Hershey, when he was with the Phantoms, and the kid just stood out above everyone else. The draft picks at the time, were just that, draft picks. Impossible to predict who they would be used on, and how those players would have/have turned out.

Pronger was exactly what the Flyers needed, at that time...an unquestioned leader, a rock on the blueline, and a player that had experience leading teams thru the playoffs.

So, to answer your question, I think the Flyers made a good trade, at that time. Most everyone did. Looking back, it would appear they massively overpaid, given Pronger's injury/end of career, and the upward track of the kids traded in that pick. If Pronger was still healthy, playing 20+ mins a night, and being, well, Chris Pronger..I think the trade would be viewed differently.

There is a lot of street wisdom to this post. The real question might be along the lines of the recent Meltzer post that is on another thread: Is this trade consistent with a franchise that has habitually traded its developmental players for "seniors" and paid dearly down the road?

Best,

Howie

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I did not care for the trade back then, due to the fact that Pronger was already old, to me we gave up too much for a guy his age. On top of that trade, giving away a first rounder for Emminger and a first rounder for Versteeg and passing up Hamilton for Coots, has put is in the situation we are currently in today...completely lacking in quality defensemen. Right now even if we made the Pronger deal, had we not made the other stupid deals, we could have two top quality young right handed defensemen in Carllson and Hamilton , plus whatever player we took with the first rounder we wasted on Versteeg.

Now we are going to be forced to trade one of our young forwards and more, in order to land a top defensemen, its inevitable. We need to replicate the Mark Howe and Desjardins trades where we trade a young forward for a young quality defeneseman who can anchor our blueline for the next 10 years . On top of that i hope we finish dead last so we can finally draft a franchise defenseman as well. th last thing to do is trade for some thirty year old defenseman.

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@RonJeremy Bro, it's gonna be TORTURE watching Hamilton for next 15 years!!! I would not be surprised to see him be a first team all star in 2 years from now....he gets better everytime I see him. Watching the Leafs vs Bruins tonight, so will get a nice long look at him again.....I'll be pissed of course, wondering what could have been.......geez!!!

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You know jammer, i still dont understand picking Coots over Hamilton, everyone says..oh the Flyers arent good at developing defensemen,etc... or you hear they had Coots rated higher, etc...To me it was a no brainer to pick Hamilton, it wasnt like we were picking 25 or 26 like usual, we were picking 9th, Even if Hamilton and Coots were rated very close, you always pick a defenseman over a forward. Good forwards are a dime a dozen, good defenseman are a commodity. We never get to pick that high and to have a a defenseman of that caliber available and to pass him up for another center was a big mistake.

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@RonJeremy I think part of the promlem was Coots having the mono. Many thought he *might* have been ranked in the top 3 if it were not for his mono based drop in pts....on top of that, his stats were wicked to begin with, even minus the mono, so the Flyers might have thought they were getting a real steal by getting him at #9.

"Good forwards are a dime a dozen, good defenseman are a commodity. We never get to pick that high and to have a a defenseman of that caliber available and to pass him up for another center was a big mistake."

Good God, I could not agree more!! This is the way all teams should approach the draft!! D-men are a bit of a risk, sometimes their skill set does not translate well to the speedy NHL game. That's why you see top teir defensive prospects being a bust at the NHL level..... But, this pick was a NO-BRAINER!! A blind man could have seen the wicked potential of Hamilton in the OHL....he was like a man playing with little kids.

For me, it was not only a forward over a d-man scenario, it was a questionable skater against an AMAZING skater. If the common sense of taking an elite forward over a elite d-man does not kick in, the HUGE swing in skating DAMN WELL SHOULD HAVE!!! I just will never understand this line of thinking. Homer should be fired for it!! When I watch Hamilton play, I see a LOT of Larry Robinson. The skating, the beautiful fluid stride, the shot....and I don't toss around comparions with Larry lightly. He is not as tough as Larry was, but that part can come, he does have a bit of a meanstreak to start out, so that part of his game may come with time, as long as you have the initial mean streak and like to hurt people, the rest will take care of itself.

I'm not bashing Coots here. He still has potential. My problem is the skating has actually regressed, which in itself is alarming, cause I've never seen that happen before. The other thing that really worries me is, he does not look to have the same hockey IQ as he did last year. This is not the type of thing that you lose, you are born with it or you are not.....this also worries and perplexes me to no end.....I just don't know what to think with this kid. All I know is my initial expectations have not been met, which happens from time to time with young kids. I worry if we hold on to him for to long, the other teams will catch on to the problems I have alluded to (actually the skating is well known, esp to scouts). We may get stuck with a slow, underachieving center long term, or we could move him while he still has value, and use the trade to at least start to fix the current defensive corps, which is a mess right now.

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I make this trade any day of the week. End if story.

Really? Even taking into account the playoff run that Pronger took us on was only made possible by *one* single shoot out goal? This seems like the type of deal a front running contender would make, not a team that makes the playoffs after the last regualr season game has ended and OT could not settle it. Truth is, we got lucky even getting into the playoffs that year, very lucky.

Even eliminating the whole, got lucky making the playoffs thing, I don't care about making the finals. Been there, done that.....means nothing to me. That type of a trade that does not produce a Stanley Cup is a complete and utter failure. Have you seen Emerson Etem play? He looks like a star to me.....that coupled with the loss of Sbisa, plus the production of Lupul (he has turned into a guaranteed 30 goal guy in TO), and the still unknown quantity in Moore, I don't like this one bit...watching other teams profit off our loss of patience.....AGAIN. No thanks....pass.

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The Flyers traded for Chris Pronger of the Anaheim Ducks, Trading Luca Sbisa, Joffrey Lupul, a2009 first rounder (John Moore) and a 2010 first rounder (Emerson Etem).

The question is, knowing what you know naw, would you do the deal all over again?

Chris Pronger CARRIED the Flyers to a Stanley Cup final that they quite frankly had no business being in. Without him, the playoffs that year would have never been reached, a return to significance came with him, his tragic injury has shortened his career, but an amazing run will be his Philadelphia legacy, as it was in Anaheim in 2007 and Edmonton in 2006. One of the best big series players of all time.

They gave up:

Joffrey Lupul, a solid scoring wing who is injury prone but when healthy is a top six forward

Luca Sbisa A minute eating blue liner with a bit of scoring touch and a tough streak

Emerson Etem A very solid prospect with scoring touch, not embarrassing himself in the NHL right now

John Moore With the Jackets. Big strong defensemen still finding his way but a top prospect with offensive upside.

This trade reminds me for all of the world of a baseball trade in 1987, the Tigers traded a minor league prospect John Smoltz to the Braves for Doyle Alexander, a veteran mercenary pitcher. Alexander went 11-0 leading the Tigers to a division title over the much more talented Blue Jays team. They lost in the playoffs quickly to the Twins, Alexander was never as good, and Smoltz went on to be one of the top pitchers of his generation.

So again, the question is simple, would you do the Pronger deal again? Lupul in the top six, Sbisa eating minutes, Moore and Etem, they would fill out the roster nicely, but there would have been no Pronger led cup run.

Continued manifestation of the problem we see with the Flyers management philosophy every year: We can make the playoffs and win the Cup with one more piece. Not the way to build a hockey winner. 38 years and counting.

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there are two moves the Flyers have made that I absolutely loved that never came to be...

Pronger and Forsberg

I don't regret for a second seeing them in O/B, but I really wish they would have panned out to what they could have become.

Oh, and I also loved that metrosexual that wore 97 and blocked pucks with his face

Now if they would just sign John Scott, i would sleep easier at night

Edited by CoachX
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I'm finally convinced the Pronger trade was a bad idea. By reading your posts - specifically FC, Jammer, Jack, RJ...a few others I can't remember - I can see the bigger picture I ignored back in '09.

For many reasons back then I said the Flyers needed "immediate adult supervision" and Pronger was the perfect candidate to fill that role. I didn't think the price was too high because the benefit of having him was enormous. In many respects he lived up to it, providing that "calming influence" on the blue line he was so famous for, bringing integrity and character to a team that at the time couldn't seem to establish their own.

I changed my mind by doing what some of you did back in '09, taking a closer look at Pronger's history. By the end of the '08/'09 season Chris Pronger was a war-weary veteran who had logged an enormous number of "hard minutes" in the NHL. On the surface he appeared durable but he was probably already playing on borrowed time. The Flyers traded away a huge chunk of their future for a guy who most likely didn't have nearly as much left in the tank as they were hoping (assuming).

So even after I factor in the "adult supervision" and the character and integrity he brought to the Flyers, for all that we really only got that one "miracle" run out of him, a run characterized not so much by Pronger's dominance but by all the improbabilities ("miracles") that made it happen.

In the end Chris Pronger couldn't prevent the Flyers from being crushed and embarrassed by their most conspicuous and (to this day) most enduring handicap: weak goaltending and weak (or mismanaged) defense. Pronger brought critical components to the team but if the Flyers had sought those qualities elsewhere, at a much cheaper price, they would've had many more chances to strengthen those 2 perennially-weak areas.

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