Few defencemen in NHL history have been able to impact a game like Hall of Fame blue-liner Chris Pronger.
At 6'6 210, Pronger possessed a rare combination of size and skill, and was a key piece of every franchise he played for. The 45-year-old kicked his career off with the Hartford Whalers as a second overall pick before getting traded to the St. Louis Blues for Brendan Shanahan in 1995 and from there, his career flight. Pronger captured the Hart and Norris Trophies in 2000 but just a few years later, the Blues were looking to rebuild.
Which is when things started to get interesting.
Aaron Portzline, who covers the Columbus Blue Jackets for The Athletic, revealed on Monday that the two sides were in a talks about a potential trade but... Columbus didn't want to part with their 2004 8th overall selection Alexandre Picard.
Who ultimately recorded two assists in 67 career games.
That's gotta hurt to read as a Jackets fan!
Pronger was eventually traded to the Edmonton Oilers where he signed a five-year contract for $31.5 million. After just a single season in Edmonton where he took the franchise to Game 7 of the 2006 Stanley Cup Final, the shutdown D-man was sent packing to the Anaheim Ducks, where he was able to get the job done on a stacked Ducks team.
So things turned out pretty well for the big man. As for Columbus... they made the playoffs just once (in 2009) while Pronger was still in the league.
You can't change history but wow... how things could have been different in Ohio.
(H/T Aaron Portzline)