Both Chris Pronger and Los Angeles Kings GM Dean Lombardi are denying reports that the veteran defenceman has been traded.
A number of on-line sites are reporting that Pronger, 34, has been traded from the Anaheim Ducks to Lombardi’s Kings for third-year defenceman Jack Johnson and the Kings’ first-round pick (No. 5) in this year’s Entry Draft.
When asked via e-mail whether he had engineered a trade, Lombardi replied with a simple “no,” and Pronger’s response was similar.
Pronger had spent the past four years with Anaheim, anchoring a defence with Scott Niedermayer that helped the Ducks win the Stanley Cup in 2007. The 34-year-old played all 82 games this past season, scoring 11 goals and 48 points. He is entering the final year of deal that will pay him $6.25 million, after which he will be an unrestricted free agent.
Johnson, 22, was the third overall pick of the Carolina Hurricanes in the 2005 draft before being dealt to the Kings in September 2006. Johnson played 41 games this past season, scoring six goals and adding five assists. He had 46 penalty minutes and was a minus-18. He earned $850,000 this past season and is a restricted free agent.
According to the NHL’s collective agreement, no trades can be completed until after the conclusion of the Stanley Cup playoffs. Detroit plays host to Pittsburgh Friday night in Game 7 of the Cup final.