Orange and black suit Chris Pronger
When the Philadelphia Flyers acquired hard-hitting defenseman Chris Pronger from the Ducks in July, he was widely regarded as the final element that would turn the Flyers into a serious Stanley Cup contender. And he believes he was born to wear the colors of the onetime Broad Street Bullies.
"I think just with the tradition of this organization and the way that they've played over the years and the style of play that they want to play, I think I do fit into this culture and the system very well," he said as he prepared for his first game against his former Duck teammates Saturday at Wachovia Center in Philadelphia.
"It's tailor-made for my style of play and I'm pretty excited."
Pronger said he had a "pretty straightforward talk" with Ducks General Manager Bob Murray before the June entry draft and gathered that "things weren't going to be moving forward with the Ducks." They needed secondary scoring and youth on defense, and they got that in Joffrey Lupul, Luca Sbisa and two first-round draft picks; the Flyers needed size and meanness and they got that in Pronger, promptly giving him a seven-year, $34.9-million extension.
But he will always remember his three years with the Ducks fondly, and not only because of the team's 2007 Stanley Cup triumph.
"I had a great time in Anaheim. I met a lot of people throughout the community, people that I'll probably keep in touch with for the rest of my life and good friends," he said. "When you win a Cup, you form a bond with the players on that team. That group of players always will be in each other's minds, as it was the first Cup for virtually all of us, except Scotty [Niedermayer]."
More from Pronger later at www.latimes.com/sports.
-- Helene Elliott
Photo: Chris Pronger takes a water break prior to his game against the Pittsburgh Penguins on October 8. Photo credit: Bruce Bennett / Getty Images.