Trade my wife, please

JODY VANCE -- 24 Hours Toronto

, Last Updated: 9:10 AM ET

With the news over the weekend that Chris Pronger and his wife Lauren want out of Edmonton, Oiler fans have had insult added to their injured hearts after having lost the Stanley Cup by the skin of their teeth.

The rearguard officially asked for a trade out of Oil Country citing "personal reasons," read: "My wife doesn't want to live in northern Alberta so we gotta move" -- at least that's the word on the street even if Pronger and his agent refuse to confirm or deny it.

A native of Dryden, Ont., and arguably the best defenceman in the NHL today, Pronger has four years and $25 million US left on his deal with Edmonton.

The news he wants out is bringing much interest to the six-foot, six-inch big-ticket blue liner. The Toronto Maple Leafs are suitors. The trouble with T.O. is it has a huge "once-in-a-lifetime" deal waiting on the table for the John Hancock of Bryan McCabe.

What is more than a little ironic here is the apparent delay in McCabe's signing is due to the fact his wife Roberta wants to move closer to her family on Long Island.

The burning question here: What did these ladies expect when they said, "I do" to NHL players? Did they not grasp the concept of "playing where the money is" and living the life of a gypsy while pocketing those millions?

While I understand "family first," I simply do not understand this trend of holding teams hostage because the wife is homesick. (At this time I would like to point out that I am married.)

Let's face it, the career of a pro athlete can be very lucrative but is inherently short in the grand scheme of things.

Pronger was playing with an upper echelon team based in a hockey-mad community, the situation most NHLers dream of.

Couldn't his wife support him for the next few years, dreaming of the freedom to live anywhere on the planet when her husband retires?

Unlike the Prongers, and apparently the McCabes, I'm of the mindset that most of us, in a similar situation, would say: "For a few million bucks a year and a chance at early retirement, I'll live juuuuust about anywhere."

Jody Vance is a longtime television sportscaster and personality living in Toronto. Her column appears Tuesdays and Thursdays in 24 hours.


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