June 23, 2006
Sportsnet.ca -- The Oilers' improbable run to the Stanley Cup finals may ultimately end with the trade of one of the team's biggest contributors: Chris Pronger.
According to Sportsnet sources, Pronger wants out.
The defenceman is believed to have some personal issues that may be alleviated by a move.
Neither the Oilers nor the Pronger camp will comment on the matter with respect to the hulking defenceman's privacy. However, it is believed Pronger made his position clear with Edmonton's management before departing for a vacation Friday morning.
Word of his unrest surfaced prior to the playoffs, and with it the understanding that trade discussions between Pronger and Kevin Lowe had taken place during the season.
However, the Oilers run to Game 7 of the Stanley Cup final overshadowed Pronger's personal battles and it was hoped Edmonton's post-season success would help soothe his geographic battles.
Unfortunately, that doesn't appear to be the case and the topic was raised earlier this week.
"He wants out," a source close to the situation told Sportsnet.
Question is, will the Oilers appease Pronger or hold him accountable to a contract that has four years remaining?
It most certainly will be a hot topic of discussion this weekend at the Entry Draft; lumped in with the ongoing speculation around Roberto Luongo's future in Florida.
Knowing the situation, maybe a Pronger for Luongo swap makes sense? Assuming of course, Pronger and family would relocate to Florida and Luongo will agree to any multi-year deal.
Perhaps a move back to St. Louis is what the player is after?
Regardless, Kevin Lowe and the Edmonton Oilers hold the cards and if trade is considered this weekend, the asking price will be understandably high.