Wednesday, June 28, 2006

 

Let's have some perspective on the Pronger situation

You may have heard that Chris Pronger decided to slip out to Mexico with his wife just after the Stanley Cup finals were over, leaving his agent to tell the Oilers to arrange a trade for their prized defenseman as he no longer wanted to be there.

From this quiet little announcement, we've had an explosion on the message boards and blogosphere about how evil, greedy, and selfish Mr. and Ms. Pronger are. Pronger has quickly gone from hero to goat, and now the Oilers are eating their young.

Now, Chris obviously didn't handle this whole situation very well. He signed a long-term deal with the Oilers, and then ran out of town and expected his agent to announce the decision for him and take the heat on his behalf. Why couldn't Pronger have done this himself. Perhaps a public proclamation of his intentions would have gone some way in putting out the fire that is consuming the Oilers nation. People often throw a lot of shit around until they come face to face with the 'evil' they rail against. Honesty tends to be the best policy, in the end.

Still, the rumours, stories, and venom get more ridiculous every day. It's not enough that Pronger simply wants a trade. No, there has to be some other ludicrisp reasoning behind the fact that he doesn't want to play in Edmonton any longer. Some of the 'gems' coming from Oilers fans these days include

  • Pronger's wife is a money-grubbing HO who should sit down, shut up, and do whatever her meal ticket tells her to (These people have obviously never been married and/or want to re-establish slavery. Maybe we should revoke the right of women to vote, too?)
  • Pronger should just retire if he wants to be with his family so bad (riiiiiight. He has no right to make a living elsewhere, eh?)
  • Pronger had sex with an underaged puckbunny in an Edmonton watering hole.
  • Pronger knocked up a local TV reporter.
  • Pronger had a 3-way with Mike Comrie and Tommy Salo's wife.


  • In my younger years, I would have felt the same way as most Oilers fans do now: Betrayed, angry, disappointed, etc. (like when Pavel Bure pulled his stunt to get out of Vancouver. That worked out well, anyway). Maturity has allowed me to realize that it's not worth it to worry so much about what other people do with their lives. It's too easy for fans to treat these players as pieces of meat without stopping to realize that the players *DO* in fact have personal wants, needs, desires, and problems of their own.

    The move to Edmonton obviously put a strain on Pronger's marriage, and I can think of a few other reasons why a player wouldn't want to play in a place like Edmonton.

  • Perhaps the player would like to go to the movies and grocery shopping without being hounded constantly for pictures and autographs from zit-faced teens and Ebay brokers.
  • Perhaps the player would like to open the newspaper and not have to read 10 articles about how badly he screwed up last night.
  • Perhaps the player doesn't want to live in a place where the average winter temperature is colder than 0'celsius most nights and where the sun goes down at 3pm.
  • Perhaps the player is gay and wants to be able to blow a meat whistle without making national headlines.


  • "Put yourself in their shoes!"

    When I tell people to do that, they can only picture a hockey player sleeping on piles of money with puckbunnies feeding them grapes and mermaids giving them pedicures.

    People seem to think that money solves any problems. How could Pronger possibly be unhappy with millions of dollars and lots of fame? Umm, well being rich doesn't automatically make the world all roses and sunshine. Just ask Theoren Fleury how money solved his miriad of problems.

    Yeah, I'd be mad and frustrated too if the Sedinbots had their agent tell Dave Nonis to trade them. Would I find it necessary to create stupid rumours and villify the Sedinbots? No.

    Every person has some right to want the best situation for themselves, and I won't hold them against it as long as they don't pull any incredibly stupid stunts (ie. Pavel Bure). Pronger certainly didn't say (or his agent, anyway) that he would refuse to play if he wasn't traded. Pronger made a simple request, and did so for personal reasons which matter not to any Oilers fans. He has that right, so leave him and his wife alone.

    At least one other person has some level of sanity: Lyle "Spector" Richardson

    "Pronger himself seems to have had no qualms with playing in Edmonton, but the love of his wife trumps loyalty to a team anytime. Pronger has done what any husband worth his salt would do, put his wife and family first. He at least was enough of a man to give the Oilers one season and didn't allow any of this to be a distraction throughout the playoffs, helping them come to within one game of winning the Stanley Cup. Oilers fans need to remember that before they start heaping abuse on him. This isn't about money or greed, it's about keeping his family happy."

    "Why did Pronger's wife not complain when he signed his big contract? Probably because she'd never had to follow her husband before (she's a St. Louis native). She tried it, didn't like it, and wanted to leave. He loves his wife and wants to make her happy. That doesn't make him less of a man, folks.

    As for his contract, he could've made public waves during the season or in the playoffs regardless of the contract but he didn't, which was a mature decision. He didn't act like a petulant spoiled brat.

    He's not a traitor, a wimp, or a pussy. He's merely trying to do what's right for his family. Why stay in a city if you're not happy there? That's not a knock against Edmonton, it's just unfortunate, is all

    Comments:
    Thanks, Jes!
     
    You do have to admire the class he possessed to wait until after the season. I'm sure it's tougher for him in his personal situation than it will be for Oilers fans who feel slighted. I've never had much affection for Pronger (being a beast in the Central and killing the CBJ on a regular basis), but this shows that he is a class act.

    I'm not too proud to change my mind, and he gets a star in my book for handling this as well as he has (even if it could have been done slightly better).

    Great blog, Jes (if I haven't told you before). You've definitely made my daily read list.
     
    Good Post...Making the run to Mexico makes it look worse than it is. I still have an issue with Al " the ho took my wallet" Strachan leaking this request. But all in all the rumors are fairly entertaining. Jeebus I can see a new Boys on the Bus video.. Oilers gone Wild for 9.99. Lyle sorry about the beats you have been getting. I the Florida trade to happen. That should make everybody happy...
     
    Well said. Having lived in Edmonton when Gretzky was traded to LA, I remember some unbelievable comments directed towards his wife, Janet.

    Edmonton fans (like Toronto fans) seem to feast on players personal lives to a larger degree than most. Then again, Vancouver fans eat goalies for breakfast, and I'm not too impressed by that behaviour, either.
     
    I disagree here, Jes. I mean, seriously--when Lauren married the guy she should have known what she signed on for. Few players these days play their entire career for one team, so there's going to be moving involved--and in some cases that involves a move to the prairies of Alberta.

    Do I buy the rumors of My Golden Bitch getting busted on a flagrant personal high-sticking call? No. But I do have a serious problem with a woman having so much control over her husband that she'll demand that he seek a trade away from a team that he was more than happy to play for.
     
    Canucks fans demand performance from their goaltenders. Apart from the media digging into Kevin Weekes' lame "I wuz robbed" alibi, most Canuck goals have been killed due to their suckiness rather than who they may or may not have slept with. (Though those Jeff Brown/Kirk McLean storylines were funny)

    Oilers fans demand that their players perform ritual sacrifices and declare their soul to the Oilers franchise, much like $cientology.
     
    As to your comments Jes, while Oilers fans are a demanding group in terms of what they expect from their players (absurdly so, I think), if you play hard in Edmonton and appreciate being there, the fans treat you like gold and you're a hero for life. It's high stakes in that way - the lows suck but the highs are pretty sweet I imagine.

    These Pronger rumours are heating up. I half expect Anne McLellan to announce that she's having his baby any day now.

    Wildly entertaining.
     
    Thank you for bringing some logic, common sense, and sanity to the rampant nastiness. You are my hero for the week. :)

    BTW, everyone is saying "she should have expected he might be traded, that's what happens to hockey players," but HE should have known what to expect, too. Maybe he knew his wife was not adaptable to northern cities (maybe she even has SADD--it makes MY winters miserable!), and at some point in the future she might want him to change teams for her sake. Obviously, he considered it a risk worth taking and an acceptable price for marrying her.
     
    coming from st louis, i've seen at least 250 emails on this in the last few days. my take?

    a) had the shoe been on the other foot, i.e., had the oilers decided to part ways with a recently signed player who just moved to the city, N|O ONE WOULD CARE OR BE OUTRAGED. wow talk about double standards :)

    b) the problem with pronger's wife was on going,she had returned to st louis a bit ago, and the oilers knew there was a problem, all i can read on that end is the oilers knew about problems, decided to DO NOTHING, and hope things worked out. wow. good call. lol

    c) the oilers are blasting the news. interesting. i tend to think the squaker is the more evil of the twins...

    d) rumors are flying everywhere including that draft day trades were made to free up money to go after pronger. so if ANY of that is true, the oilers were working the rooms before their ballyhoo hit the tabloids

    e) i'd list everyone who went to their team and asked for a trade, but i dont think jes has the baudwidth. if you hate em all, ok, if not, this is a bad case to start hating on

    f) ONE local example though would be shanny, dealt to the hellhole whalercanes pre-move, he demanded and got a trade AND picked a few cities the trade had to be to. he left a BAD TEAM cos he didnt want to PLAY on a bad team in a city he didnt like. umm pronger's wife wont live up there. i personally think you put family first in as much of your life as you can. anyone who loves shanny and hates pronger, doesn't get it

    g) pronger is a jerk. well a Jerk. maybe the "jerk of hockey". i can count on 1 hand the positive meetings with pronger stories, and can not count the negative ones without an abacus and some axle greese. in effect the ballyhoo is because a jerk did something we can yell about. personally i'd rather talk about mactavish killing someone, mising a year, leaving a team as a result in an agreed upon "time to move on lets rip up the contract deal", and an amazing number of people who cry about pronger don't even KNOW that.
     
    Ummm, yah. So how is the MacT story related exactly?
     
    I find it really frustrating the way people heap all this wife-abuse on what is 99% likely a family decision. Sure she knew what she was getting into, but sometime you make a decision that turns out badly and have to change course. I seriously doubt that this (or any of the other allegedly p-whipped related relocation requests e.g. jovo and mccabe) is a matter of a petulant and spoiled rich brat of a wife forcing her hard working husband to leave the city he loves so she can live nearer her daddy. Come on, this isn't poker night with the boys, this is where you live and raise your kids. I moved from Vancouver to Kelowna because we felt a smaller town was a better spot to raise a family. Nobody at my job raised an eyebrow or accused me of being whipped for requesting a transfer. It absolutely kills me that his wife is getting blamed for what is almost definitely a joint decision. Quite frankly any husband who chose the city he works for over his family has messed up priorities and is a lousy husband.
     
    Related? character issues. perhaps the screaming is different outside of st louis, or outside of edmonton and st louis. but the helmetless one has popped up because there was a rumor he may be free to coach elsewhere, and the very people yelling about the horrors of "asking for a trade after signing a contract" in the next paragraph suggested the blues go after macT.

    in addition the blog title is PERSPECTIVE

    so the perspective, teams get away with this 20 times every year without comment. players who left bad teams and quit teammates just because the team was bad still get shown love. people who have the mark of cain are embraced if it means a win or two more a season.

    in the entire pronger situation, never have i seen so much venom with sucha lack of perspective :)

    i guess people can feel cheated, or abuse the chance to bash a jerk because they can, but on the list of hockey horros,this doesnt break the top million
     
    A) I don't think this is really anyone's business since no one knows for sure why it happened.

    B) Pronger's wife needs to toughen up a bit if it's simply a like/dislike thing since she knew he was a hockey player when she married him. Not cool and very controlling, in my opinion

    C) His willingness to change his mind, risk public skewering and show love for his wife has got to count for something (but fleeing to Mexico did not make things better...)
     
    It's not the final decision it's the action to relay this decision

    The timing...how it was done...

    I am sure the people of Edmonton would have been more supportive...understanding...happy with what they had this year...if this announcement was not "leaked" by the agent...without anyone's knowing...

    It was a sleazy way of doing something that could have been done in a better way...Oiler fans aren't cads...or heartless...we are all about family and morals and choosing family over career...

    If he had just said...before he got on the plane...outright no pussy footing around...for the love of my family...I have decided that we need to relocate somewhere that will keep us closer together...

    Coulda Woulda Shoulda...
     
    I heard he didn't recieve any "Ralph Bucks" !!!! It was the final straw
     
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