I'll take Pronger, it seemed to me like he just took a winning presence wherever he went. St. Louis became considerably better with him, and Edmonton went to the cup final pretty much on his back. He played a very big role on an astonishingly good Ducks team of 07 and an even bigger role on the Philly team that went to the finals in '10.
Not a know on Lidstrom, he had the better career and was a better player. But if it's for one playoff run, I'll take Pronger.
Pronger. For about 18 months the guy was the most-effective defenseman I've ever seen, including Lidstrom. Then he hurt his back or something and was never the same. Went from playing on an historical level to a great one.
Can I guarantee Pronger is healthy and won't take stupid penalties? If not, then I take Lidstrom.
It's very close though, using the "one playoff run" criteria
I would disagree that Pronger took stupid penalties.
Most of his penalties were of the "investment" variety. Try to cut to the middle and WHACK, right between the glove and the elbow pad. Stand in front of the net and WHACK right on the ankles. Try to finish your check and boom butt-end three inches into the gut.
Refs aren't gonna call everything, so your choice is to try one of these things, possibly be injured and hope for, at most, a 2 minute powerplay or, well, not do these things and deal with the fact that you've got bad options against a player who he had the largest wing-span (this is before Chara started to be effective) and was one of the best stickcheckers ever. And if you turn the puck over, his breakout pass was, basically, as perfect as they get (something that would become even more obvious later in his career once the red line was removed).
The year Pronger won the Hart, he played a whopping 2300 minutes (that's over half a game played per game played). There was no avoiding him. No getting a favorable matchup.
In his prime, he was more effective than Lidstrom, though his true "prime" (about 18 months) was much much shorter than Lidstrom's (whose prime lasted something like 10 years).