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What does Chris Pronger have to do to become a top ten defenseman of all-time?

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08-06-2010, 02:28 AM
  #1
kmad
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What does Chris Pronger have to do to become a top ten defenseman of all-time?

Right now I've got the feeling that most top tens are like:

1. Bobby Orr
2. Doug Harvey
3. Eddie Shore
4. Ray Bourque
5. Nick Lidstrom
6. Denis Potvin
7. Red Kelly

And then some mix of Coffey, Fetisov, Robinson, Chelios, and Park.

Where does Pronger rank right now? I would personally have him on par with Leetch and MacInnis, just ahead of Savard/Langway/Niedermayer/Clancy/Cleghorn/Siebert/Pilote, and just behind Horton, Stevens and the rest.

What would it take for Pronger to leapfrog into the group of five players mentioned above? Is it possible?

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08-06-2010, 02:39 AM
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He prolly wont make it in the top 10, but i think he should make the bottom end of the HOH top 100 by now. He has almost certainly surpassed langway, salming, howe and even leetch in my opinion. 3 monstrous playoff runs within the last 5 years and he prolly isn't slowing anytime yet.

There are posters on here that detract him, but it doesn't matter to me, he has a better career than salming, mark howe, langway and other defensemen that get overrated.

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08-06-2010, 02:39 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Stank Mahovlich View Post
Right now I've got the feeling that most top tens are like:

1. Bobby Orr
2. Doug Harvey
3. Eddie Shore
4. Ray Bourque
5. Nick Lidstrom
6. Denis Potvin
7. Red Kelly

And then some mix of Coffey, Fetisov, Robinson, Chelios, and Park.

Where does Pronger rank right now? I would personally have him on par with Leetch and MacInnis, just ahead of Savard/Langway/Niedermayer/Clancy/Cleghorn/Siebert/Pilote, and just behind Horton, Stevens and the rest.

What would it take for Pronger to leapfrog into the group of five players mentioned above? Is it possible?
He's done as much as he could and with his best years already behind him, there's not much chance of going any higher , so no, it's not possible.
He would be lucky to crack the top 15 let alone getting into the top 10 heh.
He will forever be ranked some where in the 15-25 range.


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Originally Posted by ushvinder View Post

There are posters on here that detract him, but it doesn't matter to me, he has a better career than salming, mark howe, langway and other defensemen that get overrated.
You obviously didn't see any of those 3 play to say that.
Granted I will give you that Pronger is prolly better than Langway overall.
He still doesn't rank better than Howe or Salming for me.
Howe was a remarkable player and Salming was a beast on a lot of bad teams.


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08-06-2010, 02:45 AM
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Originally Posted by Rhiessan71 View Post
He's done as much as he could and with his best years already behind him
I don't know about that. It was leaked that if Philly won game 7, Pronger was pre-selected to win the Conn Smythe. And I will always feel he deserved the Smythe in both 2006 and 2007. Given his increasingly effective playoff performance level I feel he still has a lot to offer and could boost his rank a few spots in everyone's eyes.

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08-06-2010, 02:52 AM
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Originally Posted by Stank Mahovlich View Post
I don't know about that. It was leaked that if Philly won game 7, Pronger was pre-selected to win the Conn Smythe. And I will always feel he deserved the Smythe in both 2006 and 2007. Given his increasingly effective playoff performance level I feel he still has a lot to offer and could boost his rank a few spots in everyone's eyes.
He wasn't even really in the running last year unless the Flyers win the Cup, they didn't so he wasn't even close.

2007 you could definitely make a case for him but you could also make a case for 2-3 other players so it's not like he truly stood out any more than they did.

2006 the only way the Oilers win the Cup is if Rolo didn't get taken out and I guarantee you Rolo gets the Smythe hands down.

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08-06-2010, 02:54 AM
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Originally Posted by Rhiessan71 View Post
He's done as much as he could and with his best years already behind him, there's not much chance of going any higher , so no, it's not possible.
He would be lucky to crack the top 15 let alone getting into the top 10 heh.
He will forever be ranked some where in the 15-25 range.




You obviously didn't see any of those 3 play to say that.
Granted I will give you that Pronger is prolly better than Langway overall.
He still doesn't rank better than Howe or Salming for me.
Howe was a remarkable player and Salming was a beast on a lot of bad teams.
Thats great for you if you rank them higher, i aint trying to change your opinion. Pronger already has both of them beat on durability and playoffs, and before you start talking about bad playoff teams, pronger took edmonton to the finals for gods sakes.

Pronger has a hart and norris, salming was never even a finalist for the hart trophy, no way would he ever beat a prime jagr out for the hart.

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08-06-2010, 02:55 AM
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Originally Posted by Rhiessan71 View Post
He wasn't even really in the running last year unless the Flyers win the Cup, they didn't so he wasn't even close.

2007 you could definitely make a case for him but you could also make a case for 2-3 other players so it's not like he truly stood out any more than they did.

2006 the only way the Oilers win the Cup is if Rolo didn't get taken out and I guarantee you Rolo gets the Smythe hands down.
2006 he dragged the Oilers by their feet to game 7 of the finals. Roloson was solid but he didn't even outplay Ward.

2007 the only reason he didn't win the Smythe is because of his suspension trouble. He was better than Niedermayer in every aspect.

And I would say that Pronger was more valuable to Philly than anyone was to Chicago. Not that that alone would win him the Smythe, but the fact that he was already chosen as the possible winner prior to game 6 tells a lot about how valuable he was and still has the potential to be.

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08-06-2010, 03:03 AM
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Originally Posted by ushvinder View Post
Thats great for you if you rank them higher, i aint trying to change your opinion. Pronger already has both of them beat on durability and playoffs, and before you start talking about bad playoff teams, pronger took edmonton to the finals for gods sakes.
Ok, you can make the case for him over Salming but not Howe.
The only reason Howe isn't ranked higher is because he spent his first 6 years in the WHA. He gets so underrated because of this, it's not even funny.
If he had of played his entire career in the NHL he would of easily been over 1300+ games and in the 1100+ point range, without a doubt.

Quote:
Pronger has a hart and norris, salming was never even a finalist for the hart trophy, no way would he ever beat a prime jagr out for the hart.
Got news for ya...Pronger doesn't beat out a prime Jagr either.
Jagr missed a 1/4 of that season and not only was it still close but many still think Jagr should of won anyway.
Jagr puts in a full season and there's no way in hell Pronger takes that Hart.

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08-06-2010, 03:06 AM
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Howe was always a really solid player but never carried a team like Pronger can. Howe never had a next level.

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08-06-2010, 03:11 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Stank Mahovlich View Post
2006 he dragged the Oilers by their feet to game 7 of the finals. Roloson was solid but he didn't even outplay Ward.

Ummmm...Rolo was run over late in the 3rd round and never returned that year and he certainly never faced Ward heh.

For the record Rolo was the best goalie in the playoff's that year and when he went down, so did the Oilers chances of winning that Cup.


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Originally Posted by Stank Mahovlich View Post
Howe was always a really solid player but never carried a team like Pronger can. Howe never had a next level.
Yeah because Pronger has been doing that his whole career instead of just in the last few years....not!

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08-06-2010, 03:13 AM
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Originally Posted by Stank Mahovlich View Post
Roloson was solid but he didn't even outplay Ward.
He didn't really get a chance to...


Making three legitimate cases for Playoff MVP in five years with three different teams is really something else. Personally, I only had him down for 2010, but I've heard good cases for both 2006 and 2007. He was even on everybody's Hart shortlist in 2007 before his injury. And there's still the Hart that he really did win. Consistency-wise, he's certainly behind many, but in terms of his peak level of play, his career has looked pretty snazzy.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Rhiessan71
For the record Rolo was the best goalie in the playoff's that year and when he went down, so did the Oilers chances of winning that Cup.
Bit of an overstatement, considering their having won three games in the Finals without him. I'd say going to Game 7 qualifies as a "chance."

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08-06-2010, 03:15 AM
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Originally Posted by Rhiessan71 View Post
Ummmm...Rolo was run over late in the 3rd round and never returned that year and he certainly never faced Ward heh.
That happened in game 1 of the finals. He actually played 54 minutes against Ward.

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08-06-2010, 03:17 AM
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Yeah because Pronger has been doing that his whole career instead of just in the last few years....not!
So if he's the best playoff player in the league for a 5 year span, you're going to take it away from him because he wasn't as good before that?

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08-06-2010, 03:23 AM
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Originally Posted by Stank Mahovlich View Post
So if he's the best playoff player in the league for a 5 year span, you're going to take it away from him because he wasn't as good before that?
Kinda yeah....I mean the guys that are ahead of him didn't just "do it" for 5 years now did they

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That happened in game 1 of the finals. He actually played 54 minutes against Ward.
My bad, I always want to think it was the last game of the 3rd round.
You're right though, he was taken out with 6 minutes left in a tie game, a few minutes later, Brindy scores on Markkanen and the Oil are down 1-0.

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08-06-2010, 03:30 AM
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Kinda yeah....I mean the guys that are ahead of him didn't just "do it" for 5 years now did they
I would put him at least at Howe's level for the first half of his career.

Maybe some of the Howe WHA bias works in his favor. We never saw his clumsy formative years under a good enough microscope. All that we saw was his polished veteran career.

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08-06-2010, 03:37 AM
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Originally Posted by Rhiessan71 View Post
Kinda yeah....I mean the guys that are ahead of him didn't just "do it" for 5 years now did they
If you could start naming defensemen that had three near-Smythes in their entire careers, let alone a five-year span, we're all ears. I mean, this is territory for which Orr barely qualifies...

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08-06-2010, 03:51 AM
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I don't get why Pronger would have been a finalist this year. He wasn't better than Timonen. He wasn't exactly what got Philly past the Bruins. Sure thing I dont even know if I count him as a top 5 even on his own team.

2006 he might make a case but my guess is that Roloson was more important. In 2007 the ducks won both their games without him so he wasn't the defining factor on that team apart from being on a great defensive force. Whats left? He was never a factor before the lock-out and he had one exceptional year in '00.

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08-06-2010, 03:52 AM
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If you could start naming defensemen that had three near-Smythes in their entire careers, let alone a five-year span, we're all ears. I mean, this is territory for which Orr barely qualifies...
Again, apart from 2006 when were he near a smythe?

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08-06-2010, 03:53 AM
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Again, apart from 2006 when were he near a smythe?
2007 (where he outplayed and outscored Niedermayer to anyone who was paying attention) and 2010 (where it was leaked that he would have won the Smythe if the Flyers won the Cup).

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08-06-2010, 03:58 AM
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2007 (where he outplayed and outscored Niedermayer to anyone who was paying attention) and 2010 (where it was leaked that he would have won the Smythe if the Flyers won the Cup).
He wasn't near just because he outscored Niedermeyer. He still had Påhlsson and the winner infront of him. Plus that goalie, Giguere. I will never understand why he would be Phillys MVP in the playoffs, like I stated above. He wasn't "near" anyways as the team didn't come close to winning the finals.

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08-06-2010, 04:03 AM
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He wasn't near just because he outscored Niedermeyer. He still had Påhlsson and the winner infront of him. Plus that goalie, Giguere. I will never understand why he would be Phillys MVP in the playoffs, like I stated above. He wasn't "near" anyways as the team didn't come close to winning the finals.
He didn't just outscore Niedermayer. He was a complete force that postseason. Pahlsson was amazing as a shutdown guy but you can never give the Smythe to a shutdown guy. Someone who controls the flow of the game for 30 minutes a night like Pronger is far more valuable.

It's politics that Niedermayer won. Pronger lost it because he got suspended.

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08-06-2010, 10:16 AM
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The only way he could make the top 10 is if you could go back in time, and make sure he never injures his wrist in the middle of his prime. That injury cost him some Norris Trophies IMO. IMO he was headed for a top 10 d-man of all-time career if that injury doesn't happen. Although he's had alot of great years since then, he never got back to the level that won him the Hart.

Right now, even with the injury, I have a hard time keeping him out of my top 20.

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08-06-2010, 11:54 AM
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He's an incredible defenceman, a gimmie for the HHOF and a defining player. You guys might not like him, but everyone in the sport wants the next Pronger: the big, mobile, skilled defenceman with a real mean streak.

I don't think he's going to find his way into the top 10. At 36, he's going to be hard pressed to surpass the legacies of guys like Chelios, Coffey and Robinson. (He was compared to Robinson in junior. A bigger version of Robinson, mind you, but that was the common comparison). He's 36 years old this year, he has played a tremendous amount of hockey, he has had some injuries and he isn't exactly known for playing an efficient brand of hockey. He's probably not going to get any better than he was this past season. (I would have put him on the second all-star team).

He is polarizing, so his rankings will be over the map. Those who can look past the dirty play (and he was dirty) will usually have him in the 16-25 range. Those who value the Hart Trophy will have him higher. Those who can't look past the dirty play will have him lower.

Papa Joe is right. The injury hurt. It probably cost him the Norris in 2001. It cost him a full season in 2002-03. Injuries probably cost him the Norris in 2007. (He missed 23 games; unless your name is Orr, you miss more than 12, you don't win the Norris). He didn't always bring his A game. That's a factor, too. He didn't have the night-in, night-out consistency of a Lidstrom.

What he has done since the lockout has been remarkable, and it has cemented his place in the HHOF. (It has also cemented his legacy, both good and bad). Very few players have been the No. 1 defenceman on a team that reaches the final three times in five years. And in a tribute to modern-day player movement, he did it with three separate teams. That vouches for just how good he has been.

If I had a vote, I would have voted for him for the Conn Smythe in 2006. Win or lose. Brind'Amour was incredible. Ward changed the complexion of the Canes' season. But Pronger was the force, night-in, night-out. Dominant against the opponents' best. In 2007, he might have won it, but there's no way the voters were going to give it to him, since he was suspended twice. And the Ducks won both games he was out. And if Philly would have won this year, he would have been my pick. Mike Richards might have played at a higher level than Pronger, but Richards seemed to tire in the final (playing well over 100 games, Olympics included, for the first time in his career probably did him in), while Pronger was their rock.

There's a lot to love when it comes to Pronger. Should have been an 11-15 defenceman all-time, will wind up as a 16-25 defenceman all-time.

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08-06-2010, 11:59 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Stank Mahovlich View Post
He didn't just outscore Niedermayer. He was a complete force that postseason. Pahlsson was amazing as a shutdown guy but you can never give the Smythe to a shutdown guy. Someone who controls the flow of the game for 30 minutes a night like Pronger is far more valuable.

It's politics that Niedermayer won. Pronger lost it because he got suspended.
It wasn't just that he got suspended. If he gets suspended, and Anaheim loses 6-1 to Detroit and 5-2 to Ottawa, then he probably gets the Conn Smythe. But Anaheim won both games. And that win against Detroit was absolutely pivotal.

You could have made a case for Giguere in 2007 as well, but he missed the first four games (and the first three wins) of the playoffs, so he wasn't going to win it. Not on a team with four or five credible Conn candidates. (Giguere, the Big 3 on defence and Pahlsson).

Now, hockey is a sport in which you win by playing for each other. A championship team should be able to win even if you subtract a star (Forsberg in 2001) or the best player (Mario in 1992). This isn't basketball, where one player can make such a big difference.

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08-06-2010, 12:00 PM
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1. Bobby Orr
2. Eddie Shore
3. Doug Harvey
4. Ray Bourque
5. Nicklas Lidstrom
6. Red Kelly*
7. Denis Potvin
8. Larry Robinson
9. Slava Fetisov
10. Chris Chelios
11. Brad Park
12. King Clancy
13. Paul Coffey
14. Pierre Pilote
15. Dit Clapper*
16. Scott Stevens
17. Tim Horton
18. Earl Seibert
19. Al MacInnis
20. Sprague Cleghorn
21. Bill Gadsby
22. Borje Salming
23. Brian Leetch
24. Valeri Vasiliev
25. Chris Pronger
...
33. Scott Niedermayer
...
44. Rob Blake

*Ranking based on overall career. Clapper would definitely be lower if just based on his time at D.

That's my top 25. By the end of his career, I could easily see Pronger at a Stevens/Horton level, but he needs several more excellent seasons and/or playoffs for that.

Getting into the Top 10 would be nearly impossible at his age. Chelios has 3 Norris trophies against the deepest competition ever, and several excellent playoffs just like Chris. Chelios was also far more consistent than Chris and less injury-prone. Pronger is really hurt by the fact that he was a playoff choker early in his career and then spent much of what should have been his prime with a series of injuries.


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