The Philadelphia Flyers don't want to make excuses for injuries. They've climbed to the top of the Eastern Conference without captain and best player Chris Pronger, but the news revealed Thursday night was even worse.
Pronger will miss the rest of the season, including the playoffs, after suffering a concussion. At 37 years old, it's possible his career is in serious jeopardy, the Flyers announced.
Pronger saw concussion specialists Dr. Joseph Maroon and Dr. Micky Collins in Pittsburgh this week.
"It is the opinion of both doctors that Chris is suffering from severe post-concussion syndrome. It is the recommendation of Doctors Maroon and Collins that Chris not return to play for the Philadelphia Flyers for the remainder of the 2011-12 season or playoffs," general manager Paul Holmgren said in a statement. "Chris will continue to receive treatment and therapy with the hope that he can get better."
Resiliency has been a product of a rash of injuries for the Flyers, which includes leading scorer Claude Giroux also being out with a concussion.
"All teams want to have that," forward Jody Shelley said this week. "All teams wonder what happens when you're down, what happens when things are bad, what happens when guys are missing."
The Flyers won six games in a row going into their game Thursday night at the Montreal Canadiens, including a 5-1 victory over the Washington Capitals at Verizon Center on Tuesday.
"I think we just have strong leadership within the room. We have a lot of guys who are confident in their abilities and with the chance they can go up there and show what they can do," forward James van Riemsdyk said.
It's unclear whether the team will appoint another captain to fill the role with Pronger out. He was named captain before training camp, replacing Mike Richards, who was traded to the Los Angeles Kings in June.
Pronger is in the second year of a seven-year, $34.45 million contract. He is signed through 2016-17 but his ability to complete that deal amid post-concussion syndrome is uncertain.
The 37-year-old's Hall of Fame resume includes a Stanley Cup, a Hart Trophy as league MVP and a Norris Trophy as best defenseman in 1,167 NHL games.
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