Originally posted on Fox Sports Detroit  |  Last updated 12/13/11
Chris Chelios is officially a Hall of Famer. On Monday night in Chicago, Chelios was inducted into the U.S. Hockey Hall of Fame along with Keith Tkachuk, Gary Suter, Mike Emrick and Ed Snider. "The fact that it's in Chicago, just (Sunday) night I'd seen people I hadn't seen for 35 years growing up in the neighborhood in Chicago, Evergreen Park," Chelios said during his induction speech. "For me, it means the world to me." Chelios' many accomplishments include an NCAA championship at the University of Wisconsin in 1983, Rookie of the Year honors in 1985, a gold medal with Team USA at the 1996 World Cup, four Olympic appearances for Team USA, three Norris Trophies and three Stanley Cup championships. Chelios is one of two Americans to play in four Olympic Games, starting in 1984 and ending in 2002. "When I think about USA Hockey and representing the team, the NHL, there's 700 guys," Chelios said. "To make an Olympic team, there's 23 guys every four years. To get chosen on that team, that's something special and I never took it for granted. Playing in the NHL, it's an honor but the Olympics, you've got to be really lucky to make that team." Chelios made sure to acknowledge the 1980 Olympic team, the one that helped set the stage for hockey in the United States and pave the way for Chelios and his generation of players. It wasn't always easy playing hockey at the international level back in those early days. Chelios said his first time playing for the United States was on the junior national team. "Unfortunately, the outcome wasn't what you wanted," Chelios said. "If I remember correctly, I think we were (being) beaten 8-0 in the first period, we got booed out of the Met Center after the first period. Unfortunately we had to go out and finish the game for the next two periods. It ended 8-0, the Russians quit shooting. So did we. But anyway, not a great experience at all." But things eventually got better for the Americans. "We talk about the '96 Cup, obviously you want to win," Chelios said. "We struggled, just like the little brother to Canada. I'm sure Gary, Walt and the rest of the guys will tell you, we were getting sick of watching them carry the trophy around. The other countries as well, so it was a big leap for us, our group of guys. We got that swagger that you need to win. It led to better things." Chelios mentioned the developmental program in Ann Arbor and how it's helping those young players reach the levels that he did. He didn't have time to talk about all four of his Olympic Games, but Chelios did have great memories of 2002. "I think the Salt Lake experience, being on home ice, you want to win the gold medal," Chelios said. "But there were no disappointments. For my family, my friends, definitely for my career in USA Hockey, that was the highlight. "Winning a silver medal, not too many people can say that. I've got that medal. That medal's been as many places as the Cup. I feel very fortunate that I was able to share that with those guys and represent the country like we did. The best hockey I've ever been involved with at that skill level. It always works out better when you win. "There was a lot of pressure in Salt Lake. I don't know if Gary remembers, but I grabbed him, we were both nervous wrecks, I looked at him and said, 'Hey, we gotta relax. We're going to win either way in this gold medal game. We're walking home with something.' It didn't help. We still kind of got too nervous." Chelios also talked about his 26-year NHL career with Montreal, where he won his first Stanley Cup, with his hometown Chicago Blackhawks and finally, with the Detroit Red Wings. "What Mr. and Mrs. Ilitch and their families meant to me and my family, from getting them into the hardest schools to get into in Michigan, my sons Jake and Dean also played for Little Caesars," Chelios said. "We know what the Ilitch family has meant to youth hockey over the past 30 or 40 years, maybe longer, I'm not sure. But thank you, Mr. and Mrs. I. I appreciate everything you've done for us." With the induction, the U.S. Hockey Hall of Fame showed Chelios how much it appreciates everything that Chelios has done for hockey in the United States. Although Chelios is no longer playing, he remains in the Red Wings organization as an assistant in the front office. "I'll always be around the game. I love it," Chelios said.
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

Suns vets pull packing peanut prank on rookie Devin Booker

Teammate gives Manning final completion ball from Super Bowl

Report: Ole Miss Football cited in 13 of 28 department violations by NCAA

Larry Sanders to consider NBA comeback after other interests stabilize

The NCAAB power rankings

SEC begins crying foul over Jim Harbaugh’s spring break plans at Michigan


Marc Gasol reportedly out indefinitely with broken foot

Patriots waive Montee Ball despite never officially re-signing running back

Chicago White Sox: Impact of Mat Latos signing

Clippers suspend Blake Griffin four games

St. Louis mayor says city is moving on from NFL

Report: Hawks could entertain trading core players at deadline

WATCH: Roy Williams collapses during game vs. BC

Panthers TE Greg Olsen shaves off his playoff beard

Derek Fisher thanks Knicks in statement

Miami Heat to honor Shaq by retiring his number 32

Oakland Raiders release Nate Allen

B.J. Penn announces he will return at UFC 197

Bring back the Dunk Contest

Michael Jordan’s rep comments on the crying meme

10 NBA teams that could be active at the trade deadline

‘The X-Files’ takes a shot at the Philadelphia 76ers

Ranking the top 50 NFL players slated to become free agents

Jay Williams advocates for pot as painkiller for athletes

Photographer uninjured in SB collision with Corey Brown

NHL News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

By clicking "Sign Me Up", you have read and agreed to the Fox Sports Digital Privacy Policy and Terms of Use. You can opt out at any time. For more information, please see our Privacy Policy.
Get it now!
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

The NCAAB power rankings

Report: Kings to keep coach George Karl

Was Alain Vigneault right about NHL's lack of punishment towards Wayne Simmonds?

Report: Knicks fire coach Derek Fisher

The best and worst commercials from Super Bowl 50

Best and worst from Super Bowl 50

Six best plays from Super Bowl 50

Eli doesn't look thrilled as Peyton wins Super Bowl

Did Beyonce almost fall down during Super Bowl halftime show?

Curry to serve as drummer for Panthers

Today's Best Stuff
For Publishers
Company Info
Follow Yardbarker