SUN Hockey Pool

Silent move era

ROBIN BROWNLEE -- Edmonton Sun

, Last Updated: 10:01 AM ET

ANAHEIM -- Having experienced it, Chris Pronger knows how passionate fans of the Edmonton Oilers are.

Pronger knows how shocked, then angry, they were when he asked to be traded last spring with a Stanley Cup bid still fresh in their minds.

Likewise, Pronger understands the people who helped pay his salary, and handsome it was, want to know his reasons for leaving - all these months after he got his wish and was traded to the Anaheim Ducks.

So, he addressed that yesterday.

"That's too bad," Pronger said. "That's the answer you're going to get time and time again."

That's it. That's all. When it comes to specifics about why Pronger went to Kevin Lowe and requested a trade mere months after he signed a $31.25 million contract with the Oilers, he isn't talking.

NO SURPRISE

Did you really think he would? Nobody huddled around Pronger at the Honda Center yesterday expected anything new, and that's what we got.

Asked specifically if he understands the desire of fans in Edmonton to get the skinny on why he and wife Lauren blew town - an act that ignited all kinds of lascivious gossip and rumours - Pronger nodded, but he did little to satisfy it, offering the same vagaries we've heard before.

"What haven't I said? I think, at the end of the day, it was a situation where I sat down with my family and we felt this was necessary," Pronger said. "It's pretty cut-and-dried right there.

"Obviously, the time I spent there, I had a great time with the guys and I was treated first-class by the organization. Playing in front of that crowd was unbelievable.

"To say there was one mitigating factor over another, no.

"You sit down with your family and evaluate where you are.

"That was the course of action we chose to take."

Face it, folks. Pronger isn't going to dish the dirty details everyone wants to know. That's his right, like it or not. Suffice to say, he's happy here in Southern California, where the Ducks, as usual, are inside page news.

"That's one of the things I look at here in trying to bring this team up another level in the eyes of the community," Pronger said.

"You try to get that loyal following that's here to a certain degree now.

"We want to build it and continue to grow this franchise and this organization and try to get that winning product on the ice.

"That's what it's going to take to get people rallying around the team."

Pronger, clearly, has moved on. So have the Oilers. There's not a bad word to be said about him in the dressing room. And why should there be? He played his backside off, helping the Oilers get to within a game of sipping from the Stanley Cup. It's time fans did the same.

PAY DOLLAR, GET TO HOLLER

That's not to say people who pay their dollar don't get to holler when Pronger and the Ducks visit Rexall Place Nov. 28. I'd imagine the reception he'll get will make the razzing Mike Comrie receives seem like a group hug and wet kiss.

Fair enough.

Have at it.

Knock yourselves out.

"Just every time you guys keep bringing it up," Pronger said, asked if he's thought about his return to Edmonton.

"Certainly, it'll be a good game for the fans of Edmonton, I'm sure, but we've got a lot of games before that."

As for the details, forget it. Move on.


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