The Edmonton Oilers are in the midst of what could be a severe shakeup to their roster just days after their Game 7 Stanley Cup Final loss.
NHL sources indicate that Oilers' defenceman Chris Pronger has requested a trade from the club based on "personal, family considerations."
"I think they're more rumblings than anything," Oilers GM Kevin Lowe responded Friday evening. "I'm pretty focused on the draft right now I don't want to get too much into player personnel stuff."
When asked if Pronger had asked to be traded, Lowe responded: "He hasn't' asked me. I'll just leave it at that."
"We just got over a seven-game series in the Stanley Cup finals and there seems to be a lot of discussion about this and I'm not sure where it's coming from," added Lowe. "Let's put it this way. Why would we want to trade Chris Pronger?"
"One thing I've learned in my five or six years as a manager is that stuff tends to out of right field for whatever reasons. It can be agendas, hidden agendas, certain motivations, so nothing surprises me."
However, agent Pat Morris told TSN a trade request has now been made on behalf of his client.
In 80 games with the Oilers this season, Pronger scored 12 goals and 56 points and was a Conn Smythe Trophy candidate through Edmonton's postseason run.
Pronger finished third in postseason scoring with five goals and 16 assists in 24 games.
The St. Louis Blues traded Pronger to Edmonton last August for defencemen Eric Brewer, Doug Lynch and Jeff Woywitka. The veteran defenceman is entering the second year of a five-year contract worth $6.25 million US per year.
Pronger, 31, has played in four NHL all-star games and is a three-time Olympian. The six-foot-six native of Dryden, Ont., has 456 points including 106 goals in 802 NHL games. He won the Hart and Norris trophies in 2000, and was the first player to do so since Bobby Orr in 1972.
He was the No. 2 pick by Hartford in the 1993 NHL Draft and played two seasons with the Whalers before being dealt to the St. Louis Blues for forward Brendan Shanahan.