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McKenzie: Good chance Pronger is going to be traded

Bob McKenzie
2/23/2009 7:37:14 PM
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There is a very good chance Chris Pronger is going to be traded at some point by the Anaheim Ducks.

The question that has yet to be answered is whether it will happen before the March 4th trade deadline or in the summer.

The Ducks are currently facing quite a salary cap crunch and it could be alleviated in one fell swoop by moving Pronger and his $6.25 million salary. But it's also possible the Ducks could move another player, say Chris Kunitz and his $3.725 million salary to achieve the required relief.

Pronger has one year left on his deal; Kunitz has three.

Trading Kunitz would allow Anaheim to make sure in the off-season that Scott Niedermayer is indeed coming back for one more year. Niedermayer and Pronger is a dual luxury the Ducks cannot afford next season, but if Niedermayer were to retire, Pronger could stay put.

Playoff teams with an eye towards winning the Cup this year - Boston and New Jersey in the East, San Jose and Calgary in the West, not to mention a few others - are monitoring this Pronger situation closely.

It won't be an easy trade to make because of the acquiring team's cap considerations and the acquisition price won't be insignificant, but Pronger could be a difference maker. Anaheim's own playoff positioning could also factor in to the Ducks not wanting to trade him now. But if the return is higher now than it would be in the summer, it would have to be seriously considered.

Bob McKenzie

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