A story recounted on a Vancouver radio station has added more fuel to the fire of a rumour out of Edmonton today, that Oiler defenceman Chris Pronger has asked to be traded out of the Alberta capital. Only four short days after the Oilers watched Carolina collect the Stanley Cup, the news may be like a kick to a guy when he’s feeling a little down.
Pronger was one of the solid anchors to a resilient Oilers team that never seemed to want to say die. With his apparent trade request it will call into question once again the ability of cities like Edmonton to acquire and then keep high profile players in Oiler Bronze and Blue.
The underlying story behind the Pronger story seems to be a personal situation with his family, which has brought him to the point of having his agent ask Oiler GM Kevin Lowe.
Pronger’s agent Pat Morris (a busy guy friday handling both the Pronger and Todd Bertuzzi stories!) was on CKNW’s sport talk in the 10-10:30 block (listen in at the audio vault) and explained that both he and Progner were hopeful that Lowe would be receptive to the request and trade the blue chip blue liner in short order.
It does give Lowe some cards to play at Saturday’s draft, but many Oiler fans will be feeling deflated this weekend. Their heroes fought valiantly to the bitter end of the playoff drive and now that the ride has come to an end, they not only want to get off the road but get out of town.
The talk at end of game seven was how much the Oilers had to look forward to in the future with a solid, close knit unit of players that seemed to find strength from their fans and wearing that Oiler uniform. Now the talk will be about whether they should force someone that apparently doesn’t want to stay remain in the line up. On the other side of that coin though, an asset like Pronger could bring some quality playes into Edmonton to bolster the line up.
It’s been a roller coaster of a year for the Oilers and their fans; once again they find themselves rushing on the down side of that coaster. Hang on Oiler fans, there are going to be a few more turns before you get to training camp in September.