Did Angry Edmonton Fans Burn Chris Pronger’s Furniture After He Was Traded?

Here is the latest in a series of examinations into urban legends about hockey and whether they are true or false. Click here to view an archive of the hockey urban legends featured so far.

HOCKEY URBAN LEGEND: Angry Edmonton fans burned Chris Pronger’s furniture after he moved away from Edmonton upon being traded.

Chris Pronger had a long career in the National Hockey League (NHL). He’s still technically under contract with the Arizona Coyotes, although he has not played since 2011 due to severe concussion symptoms, and since he’s 41, it is unlikely that he ever WILL play again, but I guess we’ll find out someday. Anyhow, the six-time All-Star defenseman was such a great player that he actually won the league’s Most Valuable Player award (called the Hart Trophy) in 2000, the first defenseman to win it since 1972!!

A star player for the Hartford Whalers and the St. Louis Blues, Pronger spent the majority of his career as a star in St. Louis. That was where he won his Hart Trophy. However, following the NHL labor dispute in 2005, a new salary cap system was put into place and the Blues could no longer afford Pronger. So they dealt him to the Edmonton Oilers. After signing a five-year contract with the Oilers, Pronger helped lead the Oilers to the Stanley Cup Finals in his first season with the team, where they lost the series in the seventh game.

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Pronger caused some controversy, however, when he asked to be traded after the season ended.

As you might imagine, fans in Edmonton were quite stunned. They get this big star, he signs a long-term deal, he helps them get to the seventh game of the finals and then he demands to be traded?

Edmonton agreed to his trade request, and dealt him to the Anaheim Ducks (where he eventually led the Ducks to a Stanley Cup championship in his first season there, further turning the screws in Oiler fans’ hearts).

Pronger spoke about the reaction of Oiler fans on Jim Rome’s syndicated radio show.

“Yeah, there’s obviously a few things that didn’t set well with me, for instance, taking the furniture that I had in my house and burning it, and having a ‘Burn Chris Pronger’s Furniture Day,’ that really did sit well with me very much. They burned my kid’s crib and things like that. When you hear stories like that it doesn’t sit well.”

Did that actually happen?

While obviously Oiler fans were quite outraged, it does not appear as though they ever actually did what Pronger suggested they did.

According to the furniture rental company that rented Pronger his furniture while in Edmonton, “It never happened. We got it back in immaculate condition.”

There were no reports in Edmonton of any such occurrence. It seems more likely that some local radio host must have made a joke about how they SHOULD do something like that and it made its way back to Pronger as they DID do that.

It does not appear as though it happened, though. It seems clear enough that I’m willing to go with a false here.

The legend is…

STATUS: False

Thanks to David Staples of the Edmonton Journal for the information for this piece.

Feel free (heck, I implore you!) to write in with your suggestions for future urban legends columns! My e-mail address is [email protected]

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