All the moves the Flyers have made during a dizzying off-season probably won't mean much if future Hall-of-Famer Chris Pronger doesn't return to form.
And it's going to take a while for that to happen.
Pronger, in an interview Wednesday on TSN radio, said he didn't know if he would be ready for the start of training camp on Sept. 16. Pronger is recovering from back surgery, and he is limited to walking on a treadmill and light bike riding.
The 36-year-old defenseman said he was at least three weeks away from training hard, adding that his doctor wanted his back to "scar up and then fully heal" before he did any strenuous workouts.
"I would say I'm quite a bit behind where I would be, training-wise, and workout-wise," he said on TSN. "Whether I'm at camp or not, I don't know that yet. It's still early to tell. I would guess I would not be starting camp, just from the mere fact that I haven't been able to work out at all yet. I'm skinny to begin with, and now I'm looking really skinny."
Doctors expect Pronger to make a full recovery.
Pronger, who will turn 37 on Oct. 10, played just 50 games last season, one in which he had three different surgeries. It was his lowest games total since 2002-03.
After being swept by Boston in the second round of the playoffs, the Flyers made a major overhaul. Ten players who were with the team at the end of last season, including captain Mike Richards and high-scoring Jeff Carter, are gone.
"I think the way we exited in the playoffs, and with our owner coming out and asking to get a goalie, that puts a little bit of cash restraints on your team with respect to the salary cap," said Pronger, who is expected to be named the Flyers' captain. "Moves have to be made. In order to free up money, you have to give up good players, and we obviously did that with both Mike and Jeff.
"But in return for those guys," Pronger added, "we got a lot younger, a little bigger up front and a little bit more gritty _ and I think that was something we were missing in the playoffs."
Pronger also praised the addition of goalie Ilya Bryzgalov; the two were teammates in Anaheim.
"I've seen what he can do when he's hot, and he's definitely a great goalie," Pronger said.
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Follow Sam Carchidi on Twitter at BroadStBull.
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