Friday March 27th, 2015

Former NHL Most Valuable Player Chris Pronger is now eligible for the Hockey Hall of Fame after new bylaws were ratified, changing the language for the three-year waiting period for induction, reports’s Pierre LeBrun.

The old bylaws stated that “a person is not eligible for election in the player category if he or she has played in a professional or international hockey game (which terms shall not be considered to include games played only or primarily for charitable or recreational purposes, or for any other limited purpose that the Chair of the Board of Directors determines, in his or her discretion, should not disqualify for nomination a person otherwise eligible) during any of the three (3) playing seasons immediately prior to his or her election."

Now, a player can be eligible if they are still on a team’s payroll and haven't officially retired because to salary-cap reasons.

The 40-year-old Pronger hasn’t appeared in an NHL game since Nov. 19, 2011 after playing with an ocular concussion after being high-sticked in the eye by Mikhail Grabovski. He currently works for the NHL’s department of player safety and is still collecting checks from the Philadelphia Flyers, who will pay him under his contract expires June 30, 2017. 

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Pronger, a five-time All-Star, played for the St. Louis Blues, Edmonton Oilers, Anaheim Ducks and Hartford Whalers, who drafted him second overall in the 1993 NHL Entry draft.

He scored 84 goals and had 272 assists in 1,167 games, winning the Hart Trophy as the league’s Most Valuable Player and Norris Trophy as the top defenseman during the 1999-2000 season with St. Louis.

Pronger won a Stanley Cup as a member of the Ducks in 2007.

- Scooby Axson

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