Ironically, Pronger’s future could very well be tied to that of fellow blue-line star Scott Niedermayer. Should Niedermayer retire or sign elsewhere as a free agent, the Ducks would almost certainly keep Pronger. Should Niedermayer return, the Ducks would likely have a difficult time also accommodating the 2009-10 salaries of Pronger and Ryan Whitney ($3.5 million) while also trying to re-sign unrestricted free agent Francois Beauchemin and restricted free agent James Wisniewski.
“I’ll tell you the same thing I told you at the deadline — it is what it is,” Pronger said Saturday, when players met with Murray and Coach Randy Carlyle before beginning the off-season.
“It’s a part of the game that we all have to learn to deal with,” Pronger said. “There are obviously a lot of big question marks here with this team now, with possible retirements, possible trades or signings, guys leaving through free agency. That’s part of the business side of the game. There are salary-cap issues. There’s a whole host of things that Bob and the organization have to deal with.
“I’m sure I’ll fall a little further down on that list. They have to figure out what the other guys are doing first, I guess, before they figure out what they’re going to do with me.”