So Chris Chelios has signed with the Chicago Wolves, in hopes of
getting a shot with an NHL team desperate for an old, slow, has been
He's old. Really old. He's also a traitor. He swore he'd never be a Red Wing. He lied to you.
He's a jerk. He flaunts the Cup in front of 40,000 Hawk fans at Wrigley Field.
He's a dirty player...always has been.
His chili sucks. I had it once and thought I was going to pop an alien out of my stomach.
Now that that's out of the way, let's talk about Chris Chelios the hockey player.
For 8+ seasons, Chris Chelios defined what it meant to be a Chicago Blackhawk. He played hard, he played mean, he was versatile, and he was a leader.
In his time with the Hawks, he was one of the top 5 defensemen in the league. He was nearly impossible to beat defensively, but he could also score. In fact, he was consistently one of the Hawks top scorers, including forwards.
He won two of his three Norris Trophies with the Hawks.
Chris Chelios is very simply the best American born player of all time. Say what you want about Mike Modano, Pat LaFontaine, Jeremy Roenick or Brian Leetch. Cheli tops them all. His skill set, dedication, consistent winning and longevity prove that.
Yes, the last few years in Detroit he was a shell of himself, but he still played a key role with the best team in hockey. Not many 47 year old's can say that honestly.
Chelios is a first ballot Hall of Famer, but which team's jersey should he wear? He won Cups with the Canadiens and Red Wings. He spent as much of his career as a Wing as he did as a Hawk, but his best years were surely in Chicago. My biased vote? He should be enshrined as a Blackhawk.
How will I remember Chelios? It's hard to say. My heart was broken when he accepted a trade to the Wings.
Over the years, I grew to hate the bastard. I hate every Red Wing. Chelios was no exception.
It might take me a few years, but someday I'll be proud to see Cheli in the Hall of Fame, and maybe two number 7's hanging from the rafters of the United Center. One for Chelios, and one for Brent Seabrook...but let's not get ahead of ourselves.
Jay Zawaski is the Executive Producer of the Danny Mac Show (M-F 9am-1pm) on WSCR 670 the Score.