The path to the Hockey Hall of Fame got clearer for Chris Pronger on Tuesday.
The board of directors of the Hockey Hall of Fame clarified the three-year, waiting period eligibility bylaw. While it still needs ratification from the full membership at the annual general meeting in March, that is largely expected.
"The new by-law imposes a more objective test for the three-year eligibility rule applicable to player candidates, in particular, resolving possible ambiguity as to the nomination of a player who has not played for more than three years due to injury, but who is still under contract and continues to receive compensation that counts for salary cap purposes or otherwise," Jeff Denomme, president and CEO of the Hockey Hall of Fame, told ESPN.com via email Tuesday following the conclusion of the board of directors meeting.
This means Pronger will be eligible for Hall of Fame induction should the selection committee choose to nominate him next April ahead of the June vote.
Denomme also stressed the fact that this isn’t just about Pronger, but that there could be other players moving forward who are in a similar circumstance and the HHOF board doesn’t feel it should be concerned with medical or contractual issues when it comes to determining induction eligibility, which is why the board chose to clear up the bylaw Tuesday.
Part of the current bylaw states that "a candidate for election in the player category must have concluded his or her career as an active player for a minimum of three playing seasons before his or her election."
The new bylaw, again subject to ratification, states that "a candidate 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) during any of the three playing seasons immediately prior to his or her election."
Pronger, who remains under contract with the Flyers, hasn’t played since November 2011, as his career was ended by injury. He remains on injured reserve instead of retiring so that his salary doesn't count against the Flyers' salary cap.
The new bylaw will ensure that he is eligible for Hall consideration next year. Whether or not the members of the selection committee choose to nominate him by the April 15 deadline remains to be seen. His résumé certainly screams no-brainer.