Despite the fact he’s been told by experts that it isn’t the right route to take, Chris Pronger wants to return to the ice. He hasn’t played, though, since Nov. 19, 2011, as he continues to attempt to get his life back on track while dealing with the effects of post-concussion syndrome.
Chris Pronger joined Glen Macnow and Rob Ellis on WIP in Philadelphia to discuss his struggle with post-concussion syndrome, how he’s feeling, symptoms coming and going, and whether he thinks the NHL should force players to use visors.
On his struggle with the effects of concussions:
“Basically, I’m just trying to get healthy. I don’t think there needs to be anything other than me trying to get healthy just to live a normal life, and then we’ll kind of take it from there. But my goal and my purpose right now is just to try to get as healthy as I can get, try to get my vision back to where it can be or should be and kind of go from there.”
On how he feels now in comparison to how he felt when he sustained his last head injury:
“I can function at a lot higher rate or higher level. Before, I guess there was probably a five- or six-month period there where I just kind of sat around the house and didn’t do anything — didn’t feel like doing anything, didn’t want to do anything. You kind of get a little depressed, you start getting fat, you start eating a bunch of junk. You start falling down a slippery slope, and it was just one day I [realized] I just need to eat better, I need to start getting back into a routine. And that’s probably the biggest thing you miss the most is a routine. Since the time I was 15 I had a routine. I’d go to the rink, I’d do this, this, this, this. Or go to school and go to the rink, or whatever. And you kind of miss having that routine when it’s been all you’ve known your whole life.”
On symptoms coming and going:
“You don’t know. You can be feeling good and your spirits start picking up and then all of a sudden — bang, it’s like you got sucker-punched and you don’t know what the hell just happened. It can be very frustrating, and that’s why a lot of guys, I think, get depressed. They don’t know when the end is gonna be there. When are they gonna feel better? Just when you feel like you’re getting through it a little bit, you’re right back into it.”
On if he thinks visors should be mandatory:
“I would be for it, but the problem is when you start taking a decision out of someone’s hands, where is the league gonna stop? Where are they gonna stop telling you what you can and can’t do? And that’s the problem I have. … As we’ve seen with the CBA, I mean, where does it stop? It’s a give-and-take, and I’m not saying we need to trade that for something but what I’m saying is, I’m for it, but where are they gonna stop at taking stuff? Implementing different rules and implementing different things. It’s a difficult question. I don’t think guys would have a problem switching over, but … once you open that up, who knows what.”