A Flyers spokesman said yesterday that captain Chris Pronger was not in attendance at the team’s Winter Classic festivities over the past week.
That got us thinking... Where has Pronger been?
Pronger, 37, has been sidelined since Nov. 19 with post-concussion symptoms.
But Pronger has yet to speak publicly since 2 Pittsburgh-area concussion experts advised him on Dec. 15 to sit out for the balance of the regular season and playoffs.
Pronger did not participate in the team’s family activities after practice on Saturday at the ballpark. He has not been spotted at the team's practice facility recently. Most visibly, alternate captain and elder statesman Kimmo Timonen took Monday’s ceremonial puck drop in Pronger’s place at the Classic.
There are usually two types of injured players: ones that consistently hang around the team to provide moral support and ones who think it's best to stay away and let the active players do their thing. It has been interesting to figure out which role Pronger, the team's vocal captain, would choose. It is, of course, impossible to maintain a pertinent role if you're not in the lineup or even in the locker room.
At this point, it remains unclear whether the Flyers have had any internal discussions about naming a possible replacement captain in Pronger's absence. So far, they haven't needed to. Pronger was named the 18th captain in team history on Sept. 16 but he has played just 13 of a possibly 37 games this season.
Without him, Danny Briere, Timonen and Claude Giroux have picked up the slack with "A's" on their jerseys.
TWEET OF THE YEAR? Ilya Bryzgalov has posted consistently hilarious streams of consciousness on his personal Twitter account (@bryzgoalie30), but few were as good as his tweet late Wednesday night when Russia hung on to a 5-0 lead to outlast Canada, 6-5, in the semifinals of the World Junior Championships in Calgary:
"Why Canadians so aggressive on twitter," Bryzgalov asked.
Bryzgalov also tweeted that "Both Russian goalies is brilliant great generation," but he must have missed the third period.
BROTHERLY LOVE: Up north in Toronto, Maple Leafs defenseman Luke Schenn said his younger brother, Brayden, predicted that he would score his first NHL goal in the Winter Classic.
“The night before the game he told me he was going to score,” Luke Schenn told the Canadian Press yesterday. “He told me he was due and figured there was no better time to get it. I was watching the game actually by myself and kind of had a little celebration -- just a fist pump. I think it's even more special seeing my brother getting his first NHL goal than it was for myself. I couldn’t be more happy for him.”
IMPRESSIVE LONGEVITY: Just 57 days after being hired by the Blues, former Flyers coach Ken Hitchcock is now the longest-tenured coach in St. Louis professional sports.
Cardinals manager Tony LaRussa retired after winning the World Series in October. Rams coach Steve Spagnuolo was canned on Monday. The Blues are 15-5-5 since ‘Hitch’ was hired on Nov. 6. Hard to believe, Harry.
For the latest updates, follow Frank Seravalli on Twitter: @DNFlyers