Pronger has minor knee surgery

Chris Pronger had knee surgery last week but should be ready to go for the upcoming season. (AP Photo/Kathy Willens)

Flyers defenseman Chris Pronger had minor knee surgery last week, according to general manager Paul Holmgren.

“He will be ready for the start of training camp,” Holmgren said.

Pronger, who will be 36 in October, played all 82 games last season, his first with the Flyers. He had 10 goals, 45 assists and 79 penalty minutes. In 23 playoff games, Pronger had four goals, 14 assists and 36 penalty minutes.


In other Flyers news, coach Peter Laviolette talked yesterday about a variety of subjects, with training camp opening next month.

About the trade of winger Simon Gagne to Tampa Bay: “Simon is a very good player,” Laviolette said to the team’s public relations staff. “He is a skilled guy. I know he has played in Philadelphia for a long time. He was well-liked by the organization and fans and myself. It was one of those moves that is tough to take but hockey is the business we are in right now with salary-cap issues.”

About the Flyers’ run to the Stanley Cup finals: “I’m excited just to get back and to have a training camp,” Laviolette said. “It’s been a couple of years since I’ve been in one. It is really beneficial when you have that opportunity during training camp to really work with your team and try to implement systems, push the pace and work on conditioning. When I first got hired by the Flyers, I think we had eight games in 13 nights. There really wasn’t any time to do anything.

“Now there is the opportunity to work with everybody. You get to be more familiar with the depth players and the young players in the organization as well as getting back to working with the veteran players. I’m really excited and looking forward to it.”

Laviolette also talked about the team’s offseason moves. “I have never worked with any of the new players that we got during the offseason,” he said. “I certainly have coached against them and have seen them enough in the league. I think they were good acquisitions because they added areas to our team that we can improve. To pick up three defensemen<en>.<th>.<th>.<en>really gives us depth.

“Every game from Christmas on last season was do-or-die for us. We ended up playing our best players so much. This will really give us some depth in the back end where maybe our top guys won’t have to play as much and we can get more of a consistent roll out there. \[Oskars\] Bartulis is also a good, young defenseman in the mix<en>.<th>.<th>.<en>We are in real good shape in the back end.

“As far as Jody Shelley goes, I thought he was terrific in those last two games for the Rangers. He was used on the checking line and as a physical presence. When you throw him into the mix with the guys we already have who play those types of roles I think it is a real valuable asset to our team. His size and his strength and the way he can pound bodies and play the game will be a real asset for us.

“As far as \[Nikolai\] Zherdev goes, everybody likes the way he plays the game because he has such a high skill level<en>.<th>.<th>.<en>To me, getting him is exciting. When you can get a young player under 25 years old with a boatload of talent, those are the types of players you want to have on your team. He has the potential to be a highly skilled offensive player for us.”