Chris Pronger spoke via conference call today about the end of the season and his injuries, saying among other things that "the year from hell is over." Of course, he was talking on a personal level, given that he really didn't play much hockey from March 8th on til the end of the season on Friday night.
When asked by a reporter on whether or not his injury was a herniated disc in his back, Pronger chided Tim Panaccio like he usually does before giving an affirmative answer. He said it started to bother him in Game 7 against Buffalo and that as the days wore on before Game 1 against Boston, it progressively got worse.
Here's a list of all the injuries that have come out since the end of the season.
- We learned over the weekend that Andreas Nodl suffered a concussion in the Buffalo series, which explains his sudden absence from the lineup.
- Mike Richards has a wrist injury, according to Paul Holmgren.
- According to Philly Sports Daily, Kris Versteeg will have abdominal surgery.
- We know about Jeff Carter's knee. We don't know what the hell happened to Michael Leighton, and the timing of that one immediately after that debacle in Game 6 vs. Buffalo still makes me scratch my head and wonder what happened.
Full Pronger conference call transcript after the jump.
Q: Would you tell us what happened to you physically in the playoffs?
"I'm still trying to figure it out. I have a few doctor's appointments being set up for tomorrow, and I will know more as to my status and as to a direction where we're headed with respect of trying to figure that out."
Q: Are you seeing a back, hand or knee specialist?
There it is, I was wondering when you were going to get cute. I have a lower body injury.
Q: Are you worried about your [career]?
"No, Tim, I'm not."
Q: Then why are you being so secretive?
"Because it's none of your business, how about that? I'll have more for you when I figure it out, how about that?"
Q: How did it happen? Did it bother you in Game 6 or 7 of Buffalo?
I don't know. It started to bother me a little bit in Game 7, but I didn't know what it was.
Q: Is the test for a herniated disc?
Yeah. See Tim, there's a right way to ask a question, and a wrong way.
Q: Do you think you played too much in Game 7?
"No, I think I played 18 ½ minutes in Game 7? The amount of ice time I got had nothing to do with the injury."
Q: What changed through Game 7 to the end of Game 1?
Like anything, with more time, the worse it gets. It just gradually got worse and worse every day.
Q: Did you have a belief that you would eventually play in the playoffs if the Flyers had advanced?
I don't know, who knows. With the medical marvels out there, who knows. I don't know. I honestly can't answer that. Until you're put into that position, I guess you don't really know.
Q: When you look at the Boston series, what do you think was missing from this team?
They were obviously playing pretty well. You've got to give them a lot of credit for that. They played very well defensively; we probably could have played better defensively. I believe before the series Tim thought the power play for them and us was going to be the difference in the series and apparently it wasn't. Because we scored on the power play, and they got them at the end of the game when it was out of hand... it really didn't become a factor. Five-on-five play, which was pretty good in the Buffalo series, wasn't as good in this series.
Q: Now that we're done, can you take us through your hand injury, what took place and where that's at?
"My hand is still at a stage where I need to continue to work on it and get it stronger. It was to the point where I could play, but I still don't have a lot of grip strength, still don't have a full range of motion, and all the rest of that. It's still where it was. I just need to continue, once I figure out the next step for my other injury, I've got to continue to work on it and stay on top of it, and rehab that so come summertime when I can begin my training program for the next season that there's no issues."
Q: This is the least amount of games you've played in a long time. How frustrating is that for you?
"The year from hell is over. I started the season with a surgery and I'm going to end it probably, who knows, whether I get another one or not. From an injury standpoint, it's been the toughest year. You start to get back and start feeling good, and another one crops up. Hopefully a good summer of training and rehab on the various issues that I've had this year will rectify all those, and I can come into camp next year in a lot better shape, a lot healthier, and able to hopefully play 82 games next year."
Q: This will be your third surgery in 12 or 13 months. How hard will it be to get your head wrapped around going through that again?
"It'll actually be my fourth. I had my knee, my hand and my foot. I don't know if it's to that point or not. I've got to see what the doctors see, what their recommendations are, and then weigh the pros and cons to whatever it is that we decide to do, and go from there."
Q: Did you see any problems leading up to the playoffs with this team?
Well, you never want to be going into the playoffs inconsistent or searching for your identity. You want to kind of already have that in place. Much like last year, where we went through a ton of adversity, a lot of ups and downs, but leading up to the playoffs the last month, we really grinded hard and really got into the right mode of how you need to play in the playoffs to be successful - everybody's got to buy in, you've got to be willing to sacrifice and you've got to be playing very well as a team and as units of five out on the ice. This year it seemed like we were a little inconsistent for much of the second half. At some point, that inconsistency is going to catch up with you, which it did.
Q: What do you think needs to change between now and the start of the next season?
"I don't know. It's a little premature to start spitballing answers to what we need to do... for me anyways."