One of Dryden’s most decorated citizens now has a new title to add to his long list of accomplishments, hockey hall of famer.
“It a tremendous honour obviously and to go in with this class of guys that I’ve played against my whole career and a lot of fellow team mates having already gone into the Hall of Fame it’s definitely very special,” said Chris Pronger in an interview with the Observer.
Pronger was inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame in a ceremony in Toronto on Monday. He was inducted alongside Nicklas Lindstrom, Phil Housley, Segei Fedorov, Bill Hay, Peter Karmanos Jr and Angela Ruggiero.
Reaching another milestone gives Pronger a chance to reflect on a long NHL career. Through it all he remembers an early professional league mentor, a mentor he shares with a fellow 2015 inductee.
“Having a great mentor in Brad McCrimmon in Hartford and spending two years, almost every waking moment at the rink with him,” said Pronger. “Sitting next to him in the locker room, we were roommates on the road, partners on the ice, just a lot that I learned from him and got from him it’s kind of interesting and funny he also did the same thing with Nicklas Lidstrom in Detroit.”
In 1,167 games Pronger had 157 goals and 698 points, and in 173 Stanley Cup Playoff games, he had 26 goals and 121 points.
These days Pronger still works for the NHL in the department of player safety. He also helps to coach his kids’ hockey teams and tries to pass along information, much like himself he says, he knows they will have to experience things for themselves. Pronger remembers fondly his days of growing up and learning the game.
“Very proud to have lived in Dryden and grown up there playing hockey,” said Pronger. “The Dryden minor hockey system was certainly good to me and I played with a lot of players over the years in Dryden that I think certainly helped me, coaches did the same. I don’t think people really understand what it takes for someone to coach and give up their time; you’re kind of a second father figure. There’s a lot that goes into it, it’s a nonpaying job and at times it certainly goes unnoticed but not on my front, I appreciate everything that all my coaches and the minor hockey system was able to do for me and I think that’s one of the reasons you get into coaching and helping your kids and others to help do what others have done for you.”