The Philadelphia Flyers could be in for a serious defensive problem.
The Toronto Sun has reported that Chris Pronger is far from ready to resume physical play, as he is still experiencing some concussion-like symptoms.
The report goes as far as saying, "his career remains in jeopardy."
When Pronger does play, he's always the best defenseman on the ice—there's no question about that. But the recent injury has definitely hindered his ability to do what he does best.
Looks like Pronger has bought himself some time with the current NHL lockout. Hopefully, Pronger can use this time away from the ice to get better and will be able to man the blue line for at least one more season.
However, as one defenseman benefits, the other remains uncertain about his future.
The Toronto Sun also stated that Timonen, though he is healthy and more than ready to play hockey this season, feels that the current work stoppage could hinder his drive to continue. Timonen recently spoke with the Philadelphia Inquirer:
Who Will Return To Play When the Season Does Resume?
"I feel like I am in great shape, but to be honest if this thing drags on another two or three months who knows, I might lose my motivation and we will see what happens after. Hopefully they can get together and get the deal done."
The faster the NHL dispute gets solved, the more willing Timonen is to play in the coming season.
Clearly, if it stretches too far, he might be considering other options—whether it be retirement or playing hockey elsewhere.
It is a tough situation, to say the least.
What this Means
Well, fairly simple, really.
If the lockout continues, who knows? Maybe Pronger does recover and becomes available when the NHL does resume.
But if the NHL doesn't resume soon enough, the Flyers could be without Timonen, which is a pretty big blow as well.
Looks like the Flyers are in a lose-lose situation when it comes to their experienced defensemen and the effects of the current NHL lockout.
The Flyers also lost Matt Carle, who now plays for the Tampa Bay Lightning.
However, the addition of Luke Schenn will definitely help. Ultimately, the play of Braydon Coburn and Andrej Meszaros will either make, or break, the defensive corps in Philadelphia.
On a lighter note, the Flyers have a good set of prospects who will have major opportunities to prove their abilities at the NHL level whenever the league resumes play.
It's going to be interesting to see what Paul Holmgren does when the season does resume.