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The Pronger Effect | October
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PHILADELPHIA - JUNE 8: Chris Pronger  of the Philadelphia Flyers speaks to the press during media availability for the 2010 NHL Stanley Cup Final at Wachovia Center on June 8, 2010 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Andre Ringuette/Getty Images)

I never saw that blockbuster movie "The Butterfly Effect". I'm sure that Mr. Demi Moore was pretty awesome in it. So awesome, in fact, that they made another one... I think. From the trailers, the plot strikes me as falling somewhere between a bad acid trip and a great Punk'd episode (meaning, you got Punk'd for forking out any amount of money to watch the movie... unless you Pirate Bay'd it, then you're just a law breaker).

Anyways.

So this guy has this semi-psychotic ability to fold back in time when things don't go the way he expected... I'm assuming to disastrous results. He probably ends up just accepting his fate and setting things how they were in the first place.

The thing is, Pronger is much better than Mr. Demi Moore. He has the necessary skills and determined will to stay the course and right a listing ship. Let's look at a few examples of his handy work:

  • Mike Richards: It could have been said at the end of the 2008-2009 season that the Flyers' Captain was at a sort of crossroads. In fact, many wondered (well, maybe it was just me) if he was really the man to lead this team to glory. We saw the potential but began having doubts if he really was the Uber-Captain that his reputation made him out to be. In walks Mr. Pronger and, instead of getting better, the whole situation got worse... at least, on the face of it. With the team in turmoil and looking to miss the playoffs, Pronger's out-spoken voice in the locker room had many people (even your's truly) thinking he would be better to wear the "C". Then something incredible happened. In the midst of a team starting to turn the tide, Pronger began to take all the negative attention to himself... and in the midst of the distraction, Mike Richards emerged as a force to be reckoned with. The pressure was off Richards' shoulders and he excelled... and began to lead the team again like we'd seen him do in the past. Quietly and potently on the ice. After seeing Richie and Prongs on stage together at the "Meet the Flyers" event, we can fully expect more of the same this coming year.
  • Braydon Coburn: Seeing big "B" tearing up the ice this pre-season has got to have your hopes high for the start of the real games. Not only has he logged big minutes but he's also been making smart defensive plays, throwing the body, working his slapshot and even throwing a punch or two. He's playing with an edge that we haven't seen in quite some time... perhaps ever. We all wondered what sort of effect Pronger's presence would have in mentoring some of our younger players... Coburn is a prime example of #20's influence. Again, some pressure is off Coburn now and he's starting to grow into the space that has been created. He's had a taste of what could have been with the Stanley Cup Finals last year and he's seen what a top-end defenseman truly looks like from the inside. Something's different about Coburn, and you can credit Pronger for it.
  • The Entire Defense: From Pronger-suggested offseason pick-ups (O'Donnell) and a new emphasis on team defense as a whole, Laviolette is clearly building this team from the back-end forward. We don't want Pronger and Timonen logging the same minutes as they did last year... and the team has made moves to ensure that doesn't happen. What's the upshot? A fresher and more rested top-two dmen for when we win the Cup next year. Booyah.
I'm sure this list could go on... and we'd love to hear your thoughts as well (either in agreement or because you think I'm off my gourd). I just have that little thing called 'work' knocking at my door.

So here's the challenge, FGSB readers, tell us what you think about Pronger's effect for this year? Does it make his insane contract all worth it?

Peace, love and tater tots.