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The NHL Probably Shouldn't Hire Chris Pronger, Who's Still A Flyer

Chris Pronger hasn't played since 2011, but he remains under contract with the Flyers through 2017. That alone seems like enough to preclude Pronger taking a job in the league office. You'd think!

According to Yahoo's Nick Cotsonika, Pronger has interviewed with the Department of Player Safety and is at the top of the list to join the team that reviews hits to determine if fines or suspensions are warranted. That's all well and good, but maybe the point wasn't made clear in the first paragraph: Pronger is still a Flyers employee.


Pronger is in a weird situation. After a series of concussions and a serious eye injury, he more or less hung up the skates. But he didn't formally retire. Because of rules put in place to thwart cap-circumventing deals for older players, Pronger's retirement would mean the Flyers get stuck with his full cap hit for the life of his contract. But as it is, the Flyers simply put him on long-term injured reserve each year, pay him his salary, and his cap hit is wiped off their books. It works out well for both the Flyers and for Pronger.

But. Dude's a Flyer. Gets a paycheck signed by Ed Snider and everything. Yes, he'd recuse himself from cases directly involving the Flyers. And yes, he's surely grown-up enough not to bring any bias to the job. It doesn't matter. The NHL cannot possibly have a rostered Flyer helping out on suspension lengths for, say, some superstar on a Metropolitan division rival.

TSN's Bob McKenzie confirms Cotsonika's report, and adds that the union is involved—because obviously.


There's no "perception." He's a Flyer! He's getting $4 million from them this year! He's invited to the Flyers' company picnic. Am I taking crazy pills? Does nobody else see this? (Sean Gentille sees this.)


There is always a conflict of interest possible when you hire a recently active player to rule on guys he may have played with. But the NHL isn't Mickey-Mouse enough to hire a technically-still-active player. Is it? (Probably.)


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