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Spirit of St. Louis

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The Spirit of St. Louis

"I don't think about it...There was no blinding light, no angels coming to take me

home."-Chris Pronger

Chris Pronger is one of the premier hockey players in the world. With his 6'6",

220 lbs. frame, Chris Pronger dominates other teams while on the ice and has become one

of those special players who can control a game. The defenseman out of Dryden, Ontario

has come around full circle since arriving in the NHL as the second overall draft pick in

the 1995 draft. After having to deal with troubles early in his career, which consisted of

drinking and partying, Pronger has gotten his act together to lead his team, the St. Louis

Blues to great success. Chris' size, speed, and knowledge of the game helps him

determine, understand, and acknowledge what other teams are doing, and enables him to

shut opposing players down. Chris Pronger's career so far is an incredible story, which

makes all sports fans who have followed it respect and admire him.

In the early postseason of the 1998 season, the St. Louis Blues found themselves

leading the Detroit Red Wings one game to nothing in the best of seven series. Also, the

Blues surprisingly had that lead on the road, with the first two games of the series in

Detroit, one of the hardest atmospheres to play in.

At the 3:52 mark of the second period, on Mother's Day, a blistering slapshot

from Detroit winger Dmitri Mironov came tearing through the zone and caught the entire

Blues defense by surprise. Every defenseman except Pronger. Chris Pronger, who is the

youngest captain in St. Louis Blues history, was finally starting to settle down and learn

the system Blues head coach Joel Quenneville was teaching. Pronger was finally starting

to live up to his ability to be able to control the game. He was also finally getting the hang

of being a 25 year old captain in the NHL.

The shot was aimed high, and Pronger got in the way of it and blocked it.

Unfortunately, the puck hit him in a very odd place, right under the chest protecting

padding of his shoulder pads, and caught him right in the chest, causing his heart to stop

beating for approximately fifteen to twenty seconds. Seeing this tower of a man fall to the

ice, and not being able to breathe, scared the rest of the Blues team, and messed with their

minds and emotions, just enough for the Red Wings of Detroit to escape the game with a

victory, hence tying up the series 1-1 heading for game three in St. Louis, Missouri.

It turns out that Chris Pronger suffered a brief episode of cardiac arrhythmia, a

weak, slow and irregular heartbeat. When struck with the puck, it has been quoted that it

didn't really hurt him. Chris Pronger said that all he wanted to do was get back to the

bench and catch his breathe. The next thing anybody watching the game saw was Pronger




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