Best Ducks Player - 2008
Without team captain Chris Pronger, obtained from Edmonton in a sweet 2006 trade, Anaheim would not have won their first and, so far, only Stanley Cup in '07. After being drafted in the second round by Hartford in 1993, the 6-foot-6, 213-pound bruiser was labeled impatient, immature and hot-tempered during two seasons that would feature Whalers' fans showering Pronger with boos over his lackluster play. He'd grow up and become a superstar over the next nine seasons with St. Louis before going to Edmonton and winning a Stanley Cup. Indeed, winning back-to-back championships with two different teams, as Pronger did with the Oilers and the Ducks, is a rare feat in the NHL. Not that the Shady Canyon resident is not used to skating (and checking . . . and getting suspended) at the highest level. The perennial NHL all-star and Olympic-gold-medal winner for Team Canada was the first defenseman to win the Hart Trophy for most valuable player in the league since Bobby Orr in 1972. With the announcement that fellow meathead Scott Niedermayer will be rejoining the Ducks for the 2008-09 season, Anaheim should return to right proper puck-stuffing form. Considering what Pronger did to the leg of Vancouver's Ryan Kesler in March, if things don't work out with the Ducks, he'll always have a role waiting for him in the Ice Capades version of Stomp.