Nice try Brian...
Pronger gets one game
Posted by Ansar Khan May 16, 2007 16:15PM
Categories: Breaking News
Ducks defenseman Chris Pronger was suspended for one game for his hit from behind to Tomas Holmstrom's head in Game 3 Tuesday, the NHL announced Wednesday. Pronger will sit out Game 4 Thursday. It further depletes an Anaheim defense that was relying on four players for the bulk of the minutes. For a player who was so poised and solid against the Wings in the first round of the playoffs last year with Edmonton, apparently, it was only a matter of time before the wreckless, undisciplined Pronger of old returned.
Ducks general manager Brian Burke, naturally, said he disagreed withe the ruling. Pronger banged Holmstrom's head off the glass at 11:40 of the second period. Holmstrom needed stitches to close two cuts in his forehead but returned to start the third period.
"If you watch some of the other views it looks like a dangerous high hit, but if you look at the end-zone view, it shows it best,'' Burke said. "Chris Pronger went to hit Tomas Holmstrom at a 45-degree angle from the boards and at no point is Holmstrom's face facing the boards, at no point is Chris delivering a hit toward the boards, he's coming in to finish the check at a 45-degree angle.
"So we disagree complete with the notion Chris Pronger should be suspended for a game. But, we respect the process.''
The referees ejected the wrong player (Rob Niedermayer) from the game. Niedermayer and Pronger converged on Holmstrom at the same time, but it was Pronger's hit to the head that caused the damage. Burke said he has asked the league to rescind the game misconduct to Niedermayer and expects that to happen.
"Chris Pronger is an elite player in our league. He's a tough Canadian who plays the game the way we want to play,'' Burke said. "We don't approve of guys head hunting, we don't think that's what this was.''
Burke complimented the Wings' handling of the situation.
"We think Detroit behaved very honorably by putting the player back on the ice,'' Burke said. "The player had two cuts, both of which would have been covered by his helmet had it been properly attached. It came off four times last night.
"There's teams in this league that would have put him in an ambulance and sent him somewhere for the night. Detroit did the right thing.''