Pronger Out as Flyers Continue to Slide

Things have gone from bad to worse for the Philadelphia Flyers.

The team announced on Monday that defenseman Chris Pronger will undergo surgery to repair a right hand fracture.

Pronger will go under the knife on March 15 to repair the injury that has been nagging him since he blocked a Ty Wishart  shot off his right hand against the New York Islanders  on February 24.

Pronger who has played in 50 games for the Flyers this year, had been listed as day to day although he was scene recently wearing a hard cast that the team originally said was nothing serious.

“Chris had a CT scan on his right hand on Sunday and a small fracture was discovered,” Flyers General Manager Paul Holmgren said.  “Our doctors believe surgery is the best route to take with the injury. Surgery will be done Tuesday morning in Cleveland by Dr. Tom Graham. Chris will be able to return to play in 3-4 weeks.”

The news couldn’t have come at a worse time.  The Flyers are quickly seeing their number one seed in the Eastern Conference slip during their current 4-4-2 slide including blowing a three point lead in the third period in an overtime loss to Atlanta Saturday.

Pronger, who has 25 points this season and leads the team in average ice time (22:09), has been the teams’ worse critic of late, calling out the teams intensity and desire to finish games.

With the Washington capitols winning nine of their last ten games, the Flyers hold only a one point lead for the conference’s top spot.

With only 14 games remaining in the regular season, the Flyers are nearly guaranteed a playoff spot but without their defensive leader, home ice which seemed like a lock just two weeks ago, could be in jeopardy.

Follow Matthew Nadu on Twitter @matthewnadu

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