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Today in Hockey History: The Ducks Acquire Chris Pronger the Summer Before Winning 2007 Stanley Cup

July 3, 2006: The Anaheim Ducks acquired defenseman Chris Pronger in a trade for Joffrey Lupul, Ladislav Smid, a 2007 1st-round pick, a 2008 1st-round pick, and a 2008 2nd-round pick.

And as a 32-year-old veteran NHL defenseman, this wasn’t Pronger’s first trade but certainly the most fruitful!

Originally drafted 2nd overall by the Hartford Whalers in 1993, Chris Pronger stepped right into the NHL for the 1993-94 season, playing 81 games for the Whalers and earning a spot on the NHL’s All-Rookie Team.

But after only two seasons playing in Hartford, Pronger was traded for the first time in his NHL career to the St. Louis Blues for Brendan Shanahan on July 27, 1995.

Pronger’s game grew by leaps and bounds in St. Louis where his point totals steadily climbed each of his first 5 seasons!

And that 5th season Pronger made history, becoming the first defenseman since Bobby Orr to win the Hart Trophy as the league’s most valuable player.

But after 9 seasons as a member of the St. Louis Blues, Pronger was traded to the Edmonton Oilers for Eric Brewer, Doug Lynch, and Jeff Woywitka on August 2, 2005.

And in his first season in Edmonton, Pronger helped the Oilers upset the Presidents Trophy-winning Detroit Red Wings in the first round of the 2006 Stanley Cup Playoffs before ultimately losing in game 7 of the Stanley Cup Finals against the Carolina Hurricanes.

But not before Pronger scored the first penalty shot goal in Stanley Cup Finals history…

Having lost to the Edmonton Oilers in the Western Conference Finals in 2006, the Anaheim Ducks were eager to add a thoroughbred to their stable of talent — which already included Scott Niedermayer and Teemu Selanne — to propel them deeper into the playoffs.

So on July 3, 2006, Anaheim shipped two of their former 1st-round draft picks (Lupul & Smid) and a few future-picks to Edmonton in exchange for perennial All-Star Chris Pronger.

And it didn’t take long for the trade to pay dividends!

In his first season with the Anaheim Ducks, Pronger registered 59 points and a +27 in 66 games played!

Not satisfied with regular-season success, Pronger added another 15 points in just 19 playoff games en route to the first Stanley Cup victory for both himself and the Anaheim Ducks franchise!

Add in the fact that Pronger represented Canada in 4 Olympics (1998, 2002, 2006, & 2010), twice capturing Olympic Gold (2002 & 2010), it’s no surprise he was a first-ballot Hall of Famer!

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