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McKenzie: Whitney deal has little impact on Pronger

TSN.ca Talent Blog
2/26/2009 12:32:10 PM
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Now that the Anaheim Ducks have acquired defenceman Ryan Whitney from the Pittsburgh Penguins, speculation will focus on Chris Pronger's future with the team.

But the truth is this deal doesn't really impact on it.

Pronger's status with the Ducks is the same now as it was earlier this week. That is, he is likely to be traded, but the chances of that trade happening in the summer may be better than before the March 4 trade deadline.

If a team is willing to pay a premium now – a higher price than in the summer – then the Ducks will most certainly trade Pronger before the deadline.

But if the offer doesn't overwhelm Anaheim, the Ducks could just wait until the off-season.

If they wait, they'll know what Scott Niedermayer's intentions are.

If Niedermayer, as suspected, returns to play another year, Pronger is a luxury the Ducks cannot afford. But if Niedermayer retired, the Ducks could conceivably anchor their defence with Pronger and Whitney.

In any case, it's still wait-and-see with Pronger. The Whitney deal doesn't really impact, although that will be the popular theory.

Mind you, this trade does nothing to alleviate Anaheim's salary cap crunch. In fact, Anaheim actually picks up a little salary in the Kunitz-Whitney swap.

Bob McKenzie

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