St. Louis Blues Legend Chris Pronger Elected to Hockey Hall of Fame


Longtime St. Louis Blues defenseman Chris Pronger was among four former NHL greats elected to the Hockey Hall of Fame on Monday afternoon. The 40-year-old defenseman, known for his intimidating 6-foot-6, 220-pound frame, played in the NHL from 1993 to 2011 and was a member of the Blues from 1995 to 2005.

Over his time with the Blues, which included playoff appearances in every season, a Western Conference Finals appearance in 2000-01, Pronger had 84 goals and 272 assists over 598 regular season games, plus 51 playoff points. Along with fellow Hall-of-Famer Al MacInnis, Pronger helped to form one of the most dominant defensive groups in the NHL during the late 1990s and early 2000s before being traded to the Edmonton Oilers in a bizarre cap-related move following the 2004-05 lockout.

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Pronger is still technically active; his contract, a seven-year deal signed in 2010 that still has two years remaining, was traded by the Philadelphia Flyers to the Arizona Coyotes in a move to balance cap space. However, the NHL had earlier granted him a special exemption for Hall of Fame eligibility due to the fact that he hasn’t played since early in the 2011-12 season because of issues stemming from a head injury.

On another note, it should be interesting to see if Pronger’s number 44 is now retired by the Blues as he becomes a Hall-of-Famer. Two veterans who each played single seasons for the Blues, Darryl Sydor and Jason Arnott, have worn the number since Pronger was traded. The number hasn’t been issued since the 2011-12 season, and with Pronger arguably being the greatest defenseman in franchise history, it wouldn’t be at all surprising to see the number hung from the rafters sometime in the near future. The other Blues Hall of Famers whose numbers have been retired had their jerseys immortalized prior to entering the Hall, but with Pronger now a few years past the end of his career, it would seem to be a fitting time to do the honors.

Defenseman Phil Housley, who played 26 games with the Blues during the 1993-94 season, was also among the players elected on Monday. Pronger and Housley’s inductions will make it 20 players who have suited up in a Blues uniform and gone on to be inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame.

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