No, Chris Pronger doesn't look particularly disappointed to be smashing singer Justin Bieber (face squashed) into the boards.
AP/Copyright The Associated Press. All rights reserved.
PHILADELPHIA — Justin Bieber’s biggest smash hit may have been the one Chris Pronger gave him during All-Star weekend.
Is it too late for Pronger to say sorry?
Well, Pronger, one of the NHL’s greatest defensemen and a former St. Louis Blues star, certainly won’t apologize for the smack-down he delivered on Bieber that became a social media sensation because of a photo by the AP’s Mark J. Terrill.
Pronger, who works for the NHL’s Department of Player Safety, joked that he fined himself $5 during a one-man hearing.
Bieber was driven into the boards in the first half of a celebrity exhibition game by a laughing Pronger, who spent 18 years in the league as a hard-nosed defenseman.
“Just good fun,” Pronger said Thursday night. “A little massage to his back, a little face wash. I tried to hit the full spectrum.”
Pronger was in Philadelphia as part of a celebration of former Flyers captains in their 50th anniversary season. After leaving the Blues he helped lead the Flyers to the 2010 Stanley Cup finals, where they lost to Chicago in six games.
Pronger’s grin captured in the photo made it seem like he had one of the happiest hits in his hockey career.
“I wouldn’t go that far,” Pronger said. “Certainly getting a lot of mileage out of a photo, that’s for sure.”