The Orbs of Sour
It’s been an unbelievable series of events, really. Two weeks to the day of the Edmonton Oilers Game 7 loss in the Stanley Cup final, Chris Pronger has been traded.
Has any hockey player ever gone from beloved hero to ‘dead-to-me’ zero that quickly?
It’s hard to imagine what the decibel rating will be in Rexall Place for Pronger’s return. (I suppose we’ll have an answer to that age old question: ‘Do boos really register as louder than cheers?’)
Covered in Oil has the details on Pronger’s farewell press conference, which reads like it was a painful exercise for all parties involved (why is a reporter’s job so often to ask questions that people do not and will not answer?). One suspects Edmontonians will never really get the closure (re: public stoning) they want.
How does an athlete so well-liked and respected fall this far, this fast?
Pronger knew what he was up against in requesting this move, knew the venom that would surely be headed his way. To me, that speaks to just how badly he — and his family — wanted to leave.
The strange thing is, Pronger was lauded last fall for coming to Edmonton when so many other stars had shunned the city, which is regarded as one of pro sports’ remote outposts. Shouldn’t that one decision to come and play, if only for a year, put him ahead of those that never would? Had Pronger requested this move last fall, prior to leading Oilers fans within one game of a championship, would fans have been more forgiving?
Apologies for the interruption. Back to the bloodbath, if you please.