MONTREAL — Stanley Cup-winning defenseman and perennial All-Star Chris Pronger is now back in the Eastern Conference with the Philadelphia Flyers after he was dealt by Anaheim for two players and two first-round picks tonight early during the first round of the 2009 NHL Entry Draft at Bell Centre.
A player who was connected to numerous rumors involving the Boston Bruins back before March’s trade deadline, Pronger was not a Bruins target today even after general manager Peter Chiarelli heard that Scott Niedermayer was going to return to the Ducks (a move that most figured would force the Ducks to make a move with Pronger).
“I think we would’ve been in as good or better cap position than Philly to look at him. But we didn’t look at him,” said Chiarelli at the conclusion of the first round of the draft.
The Pronger deal was the only draft-night trade involving players, as five other trades were all made involving just draft picks. Chiarelli was surprised by the lack of talk involving actual NHL bodies.
“I didn’t hear more than one or two of those types of trades at all,” Chiarelli said.
•Chiarelli said he’d still like to pick up a second-rounder before the draft resumes tomorrow at 10 a.m. The GM summed it up this way: “It’s friggin hard.”
•As for moving up from pick No. 25 tonight, Chiarelli said he thought he was close. He revealed that moving up wouldn’t have put him in the top 10, but he still had a couple players targeted and then couldn’t pull off the deal in time.