In Philadelphia, spring is in the air you can hear the birds sing during the day and the crickets chirp at night. The weather is starting to warm up now, Major League Baseball's spring training has already begun and the Philadelphia Flyers are getting in playoff mode.
The feeling arrived this weekend during back-to back matinee games starting with the defending Stanley Cup champion Boston Bruins.
The trade winds are blowing all over the NHL and its pipelines. Twitter is ablaze with rumors, Facebook is full of propositions, and everyone is on pins and needles.
It’s what makes the NHL trade deadline among the most frantic and fun days of the sports year. Every team has problems and every follower of the team knows exactly what the cure will be for their woes.
When the trade finally goes down, many will ooh and aah over the new shiny toy in the home sweater.
In Philadelphia, it’s a little bit different.
The beast that is the media climate of the City of Brotherly Love seems to remain at a fever pitch. If it’s not about what right-handed bat the Phillies should acquire, it’s about what the Eagles should do with their disgruntled wide receiver.
It’s been talked about since captain Chris Pronger went down for the season in December, but now the question resonates louder than it ever has before.
Who are they going to get?
With the February 27 trade deadline quickly approaching, rumors have been swirling as to what the Philadelphia Flyers plan to do to make their promising team a legitimate contender in the Eastern Conference.
As each day ends and a new one begins, the anticipation to what will be done becomes more palpable.
From what general manager Paul Holmgren has said, it seems like Pronger has been having a lot more bad days than good.
“I’ve talked to Chris enough to know that things haven’t been going very good,” General manager Paul Holmgren said prior to Thursday night’s loss to the New York Islanders.
“Somebody said to me, one of our doctors, that concussions are like fingerprints, none of them are the same,” He said. “So, we obviously hope for the best for Chris and over time here we’ll need to prepare for the worst but I don’t think we’re at that point right now.”
With the symptoms still present, Pronger and his doctors have begun to test new treatments.
As of this moment, no body really knows what is going on.
“He was prescribed glasses and I think that’s helped him a little bit. He’s doing some […] other treatment regiments,” Holmgren said. “He’s seeing the doctors again on February 1st and we’ll have a little bit better idea then of where we’re at…or maybe we won’t, I don’t know. We’ll continue to monitor it and like I said, hope for the best.”
When the Flyers decided the direction of the franchise was one that wasn’t going to be influenced by Jeff Carter and Mike Richards, outcry and uproar ensued.
The core of the team that made it within two games of hoisting the Stanley Cup and a second-place finish in the Eastern Conference the next year was sent packing.
Obviously, Carter and Richards were the biggest shoes to drop. The captain and his close friend were supposed to be the faces of the team for years to come. Not so much.
Ville Leino wasn’t re-signed and few had issue with it. Most could see that his deal in Buffalo was baseless and far too big.
Blair Betts and Darroll Powe were waived and traded respectively, and that was a sticking point with some. The two soldier-like penalty killers were given away and some feared the franchise couldn’t find anyone to replace their strong play.
Kris Versteeg? Traded. Dan Carcillo? See ya. Nikolay Zherdev? Of course he was free to go.
The Flyers have announced that captain defenseman Chris Pronger will sit out the remainder of the 2011-2012 season with severe post concussion symptoms.
It was reported a week ago that Pronger had a concussion and would be out indefinitely.
“After consultation with respected concussion specialists Dr. Joseph Maroon and Dr. Mickey Collins, it is the opinion of both doctors that Chris is suffering from severe post-concussion syndrome," said general manager Paul Holmgren in a statement. "It is the recommendation of doctors Maroon and Collins that Chris not return for the remainder of the 2011-12 season or playoffs. Chris will continue to receive treatment and therapy with the hope that he can get better.”
Holmgren also said Pronger will continue to receive treatment and that they are hopeful this won't affect Pronger's career.
The last time these two teams met, the Flyers stood in their defensive zone, while the Lightning stood in the neutral zone. All the while, millions of people watching the nationally televised event began changing the channel to something that actually had a pulse.