Chris Pronger played his last NHL game back in 2011 with the Philadelphia Flyers and has since worked with the league’s Department of Player Safety. Given his physical style of play which often straddled the line between legal and illegal, Pronger’s role assisting the league in handling player discipline seems like a natural, though ironic fit. Despite that fact, Pronger has his eyes set on landing a new job – becoming the general manager of an NHL team.
The Hockey Hall of Famer recently spoke with ESPN about his future ambitions.
“I’m very interested one day in becoming a GM. I have a lot to learn and need to put some work in. But down the road at some point, under the right circumstances, it’s definitely something I’m interested in pursuing.”
On his road to becoming a general manager, Pronger has sought out the advice from some pretty impressive individuals. ESPN reports that Pronger has spoken with LA Kings VP Rob Blake, Anaheim Ducks GM Bob Murray, St. Louis Blues GM Doug Armstrong and Tampa Bay Lighting GM Steve Yzerman on what it takes to become an NHL GM.
Yzerman, a player Pronger had some spirited battles with during his playing days, may be the best example to follow. He too set out to become involved in the front office and spent several years learning with the Detroit Red Wings and GM Ken Holland. From there, Yzerman was able to land his current position with the Lightning. Pronger may need to follow a similar path if he hopes to jump behind the reins of an NHL franchise.
Pronger was always praised as an intelligent player during his career and a front office role seems like a logical next move. That being said, Pronger will need to prove himself before a team will be willing to give him that kind of responsibility. With only 31 possible GM jobs in the league (though that number could grow if the NHL continues to expand), even a name as recognizable as Pronger’s will have a tough time finding an opening without some serious work and preparation.