Pronger surprised to see Oilers fall

DEREK VAN DIEST, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 9:06 AM ET

It's a new uniform, but the same Chris Pronger.

Nearly four years removed from his days with the Edmonton Oilers, the Philadelphia Flyers defenceman never expected to see his former team in such dire straits.

Heading into Wednesday's contest, the Oilers were last in the NHL standings having just snapped a 13-game winless skid.

"No, I didn't expect them to be in this position," Pronger said.

"If you look at the team that we had when I left, the nucleus of the team was still here. They got some good players in return and some picks. So, no, not really."

The Oilers have yet to recover from Pronger's departure.

And many fans have yet to forgive what they perceived as a snub -- after Pronger infamously requested a trade out of Edmonton following the 2006 Stanley Cup finals. Pronger went to Anaheim, winning a Stanley Cup there the following year.

This summer, Pronger was traded to Philadelphia.

"It's been good here," he said. "We've had a very inconsistent year, but over the last six or seven weeks, we've certainly played a lot better and played a lot more consistently, more of the way we were expected to play.

"Certainly with the way Peter (Laviolette) has come in and instilled his systems, a little bit more aggressive, a little bit more up-tempo, I think that suits more our skill sets."

Pronger is having another strong campaign, with 38 points in 54 games heading into Wednesday's contest. He'll also represent Canada at the upcoming Winter Olympics in Vancouver.

"It's always a tremendous honour to represent your country," he said.

"It being in Canada is always a little extra motivation. I'm looking forward to it, we have a very good team as do six or seven other teams, so it's going to be very competitive over there."


Videos

Photos