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Chris Pronger's Induction To Hockey Hall of Fame Paved By By-Law Changes

One of the greatest defensemen the game has seen won't have to wait out the remainder of his contract on LTIR to be inducted into the hall.

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Chris Pronger will never play another game in the NHL. After a horriffic injury in 2011 ended his playing career and brought concussion issues, Pronger hasn't retired due to salary cap penalties that would be incurred by the Flyers if he did. He is, for all intents and purposes, a player scout for his final team. His contract isn't ready to come off of the books until 2017, so he would have to wait five years from today to be considered for induction.

That is, until the Hockey Hall of Fame adjusted its bylaws. Bylaw number 26 now reads:

"[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."

You play your final game, and unfortunate injury happens and a situation like Pronger's arises? You're now covered for induction. Pronger is eligible next season. The election committee convenes at the end of June, which, as ESPN's Pierre LeBrun points out, will show if "the selection committee members still feel uncomfortable with Pronger being paid his player contract by the Philadelphia Flyers. "

Pronger is one of the greatest defensemen to play the game, regardless of your opinion on PuckGate or his rough play on the ice or whatever. He won the Hart and Norris trophy while with the Blues. He's another player who should've retired as a Blue, and had he remained with the team he may've won a cup here instead of Anahiem (thereby continuing the NHL's favorite trend of playing for the Blues, playing elsewhere thanks to a trade due to awful owners, and then winning a Cup).

He may not get the nod in 2016, but having Pronger in the Hall of Fame sooner rather than later is something that needs to happen.