Flyers defenseman Chris Pronger worked out at the Skate Zone today and answered a few questions (transcript courtesy of the Flyers).
Q: Have you done anything exciting so far this summer?
CP: “I haven’t done a whole lot. I was on vacation with my family for about a month. Now I am going to get back into gear and ramp things back up again. I started working out a couple of weeks ago.”
Q: What do you think of the Flyers offseason acquisitions so far? (Meszaros, O’Donnell, Shelley and Zheredev)
CP: “I think with Meszaros and O’Donnell, we are obviously trying to shore up our defense pairings and give us a little more depth back there. This will probably take some minutes off Kimmo (Timonen) and I and Coby (Coburn) and Matty (Carle). So it will be able to hopefully roll three sets a little more frequently and keep us a little more sharp and fresh.”
Q: There was a lot of talk at the end of the season of you playing too many minutes. Do you feel with the addition Meszaros and O’Donnell, your minutes would decrease to help you conserve energy over the grind of the regular season?
CP: “I think they will help. You have to put Oskars Bartulis into the equation, too, and you have seven quality defensemen. As we know through the course of a long season there are going to be injuries and guys are going to be in and out of the lineup. You need to have that depth so that you aren’t skipping a beat and you’re not playing 30 minutes a night on defense. You are playing 22-25 minutes a night. It allows you to try and stay a little fresher. It doesn’t mean that I am going to change the way that I train and the way I prepare for the season. If you have to play 30, you have play 30. You relish the minutes and you relish the opportunity to play at the competitive level that you are playing. But at the same time, you have to look at the big picture. Obviously, Homer (Holmgren) did by addressing this and acquiring guys at positions that we needed.”
Q: Do you think the Flyers have improved themselves?
CP: “Yes, definitely. Whenever you go to the finals and you have success like this, you have to make some tough decisions. There are always guys that will have to come off your team and there are always holes to fill. There year is no different. For the most part, if you look at our team from last year to this upcoming season the nucleus is still there. We have a great core of players and I think we will be that much more ready to take that next step with the run that we made in the playoffs and the experience that we gained. We saw what it is going to take for us to be successful and win a Stanley Cup. We were close but not close enough. That is something that we can build on next season and in the future.”