Tuesday, November 28, 2006

The Prodigal Dink Returns

Anaheim (17-2-6)
at Edmonton (13-8-1)
9 p.m. MT, PPV, CHED, probably TVU but that doesn't work on my Mac.

''I can understand, from a fan's perspective, that everybody wants to speculate as to the reasons I requested a trade. They're passionate about their team and they can't understand why I'm not here.

''To me that's somewhat of a compliment. They respect the way that I play and they respect what I did for the team, but at the end of the day I have to live my life for my family." — Chris Pronger, yesterday

Amid rumours that fans plan to shower the ice with condoms in his honour, our boy Pronger returns to Edmonton ice for the first time since leading the Oilers to within 60 minutes of a Stanley Cup, then immediately hopping a plane to Mexico and telling his agent to just make up some bullshit about why he's not coming back. As you can see from the above quote from yesterday's press conference (in which, again, he says nothing about his reasons for leaving, which kind of makes you wonder why he keeps talking to the media about this at all), Pronger continues to take the high road on this, as well he should. After all, logic dictates that it's pretty ridiculousto be mad at a guy who chose his family over his career. Anyhow, he's gone and he's not coming back. No explanation will make me feel any better about that.

And yet, as much as I like to think that I've gotten over it, I can't help but feel a little sick to my stomach whenever I hear his name mentioned. I can't help but feel a little spiteful that he's found as much sunshine and success as he has in Anaheim. It's so petty, so childish, but somewhere deep inside me I want him to fail, to feel some tinge of regret. I want last year's Game Seven to be the closest he will ever get to the Stanley Cup for the rest of his life. I want things to go badly for Chris Pronger in Anaheim, because otherwise he'll have gotten everything he wanted, and that just doesn't seem fair. I'm not sure this feeling will ever go away. Reason tells me this is juvenile, but here we are.

Anyhow, while the condoms are likely a bit much, I hope Edmonton gives him the welcome he deserves tonight. The Oilers themselves may still be BFF with Pronger, but the fans know better, and we demand justice. With Bryzgalov and Giguere out, the Ducks will probably dress the rookie tandem of Wall and McKee, which bodes well for the home team. But I'm late for work and have got to go, so feel free to check out BoA for all your pre-game analysis needs. Andy has already written, like, fifty posts to our one on the subject. Maybe that's why they're a finalist for Best Sports Blog.

I'm calling a 5-2 Oilers win, and yes, I think Pronger will score. Hopefully, it's on his own team.

Won't be able to watch the game tonight, so please, use this thread to keep me posted on the signs at Rexall tonight. Should be some real works of art out there.