According to CSN Philadelphia’s Sarah Baicker, Chris Pronger returned to the Flyers organization — though not in the manner you’d expect.
The Philadelphia captain has started serving GM Paul Holmgren in something of a personnel role, aiding with talent analysis and scouting.
“We’ve kept him involved,” Holmgren said. “He’s doing a lot of stuff for us now. He’s watching video of players and he came to our scouting meetings for the first day and listened to what takes place there.”
Pronger, Holmgren said, has provided the team with written evaluations of talent based on videos the Flyers have sent to him. While not as encouraging as a return to practice would be received, the fact that Pronger is helping out in any capacity should come as welcome news to Flyers fans. It is the first indication that he has been healthy enough to work at all.
Baicker suggests a return to the ice in 2012-13 “is most likely not in the cards for Pronger,” leaving many to speculate if this is part of a larger-scale transition to keep Pronger active within the organization. The Flyers employed a similar strategy with Ian Laperriere, who served as a mentor to young and/or injured players over the last two seasons while dealing with post-concussion syndrome.
This also plays into the idea of keeping Pronger on LTIR rather than have him retire (something the Flyers also did with Lapierre.) If Pronger calls it quits, his $4.9 million salary would count against the Flyers’ cap.
By keeping Pronger in a working capacity, the Flyers can justify paying him and keep the door open for a return to the ice — should circumstances ever allow for it.