In 2017, not long after the Florida Panthers lost two players to Vegas in the expansion draft, the team added a Hall of Fame defenseman in Chris Pronger to their front office.
On Wednesday afternoon, the Panthers announced Pronger would be leaving the organization.
Pronger, serving as the team’s Senior VP of Hockey Operations and a close advisor to Dale Tallon, is said to be resigning his post to focus on his family business which caters to high-end travelers.
According to the statement posted by the Panthers, Chris Pronger’s Well Inspired Travels is “a boutique luxury travel company that caters to elite athletes, C-Level executives and business owners. This passion project has been a lifelong dream for Lauren and Chris.
“They curate five-star experiential travel across the globe. With their experience in the health & wellness field, the mind, body and spirit is always at the forefront of everything they do.”
Pronger, who remained based in St. Louis while working for the Panthers, joined the team in 2017 as a senior advisor to Tallon after spending time in the NHL’s player safety office.
Many thought Pronger was being groomed as the eventual successor to Tallon and the two worked closely together.
Although Pronger was not around the team much, he did travel to some road games and was with the team around the trade deadline.
“We want to thank Chris for his invaluable contributions to the Florida Panthers organization,” Tallon said in Wednesday’s statement.
“Chris approached his role with great passion and provided our team with a fresh and unique perspective. A true professional, champion and proud family man, we wish Chris, Lauren and the Pronger family the very best in their new business endeavor, Well Inspired Travels.”
Said Pronger: “I want to personally thank the Viola family, Doug Cifu, Dale Tallon and all of the staff with the Florida Panthers. I was able to grow as an executive and more importantly as a person in my three years with the hockey club.
“I wish the Panthers organization nothing but the best in the upcoming playoffs and years to come.”
Pronger played 1,167 games for Hartford, St. Louis, Edmonton, Anaheim and Philadelphia before retiring in 2012 and was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 2015.
His most famous hit may have come at the 2016 All-Star challenge in Los Angeles when he rammed Justin Bieber into the glass.
Chris Pronger was one of a number of former players who was part of Tallon’s front office, including recently retired goalie Roberto Luongo and Bryan McCabe, who serves as Florida’s director of player personnel.
Shawn Thornton also works for the Panthers on the business side of the organization while former captain Derek MacKenzie is an assistant coach.
“We’re excited, thrilled and proud to add a Stanley Cup champion to the Florida Panthers family,” Tallon said when Pronger was hired.
“I’m excited to be able to work with a great player and a better person.”