Found July 09, 2013 on Fox Sports Detroit:
Chris Chelios never expected to make it to the NHL, let alone into the Hockey Hall of Fame. There is no reason in the world that I should have made it as a hockey player, Chelios told me a few years ago. I grew up in Chicago on the south side, and no one else had ever made it in the NHL from that area in Chicago because theres not a lot of money there. I moved to California when I was 16. I had no intention of playing pro hockey or even continuing with hockey, I was just skating for fun. And then fate intervened. I was sitting on the beach watching these guys on a hockey team working out, Chelios recalled. One of the kids came up to me who had seen me skate and said he knew of a place he thought I could play in Canada. The rest is history. A history culminating with Chelios being named a first-ballot inductee into the Hockey Hall of Fame on Tuesday afternoon in Toronto. Chelios, 51, is the greatest American-born defenseman to ever play the game. Arguably, hes the greatest American-born hockey player of all time. His on-ice accomplishments are staggering: fifth all time in games played with 1,651 and No. 1 in career playoff games played 266; a five-time member of the NHL First All-Star Team; an Olympic Silver Medalist and Captain of Team USA in 2002; a three-time winner of the Stanley Cup -- two with Detroit, in 2002 and 2008, and one with Montreal, in 1986; and a three-time winner of the Norris Trophy as the NHLs best defenseman. Standing a little over 6 feet tall and weighing 191 pounds, Chelios played 26 years in the NHL. He was an abrasive player whos approach to the game was based on his passion and pushing himself to the limit. Hes in the same category as (former Red Wings captain) Steve Yzerman, former Red Wings teammate Kirk Maltby said. Competitiveness isnt a statistic, but its something in the hockey world you can see, and you can tell when a guy is competitive game in and game out. For Chris Chelios, it didnt matter if it was Game 1 of the exhibition season or Game 1 of the Stanley Cup Finals, he was going to go out there and compete, he wasnt going to give an inch. He was a guy that just wanted to win and compete as hard as anybody youll ever know. I wouldnt be surprised one bit if (Red Wings GM) Ken Holland were to offer him a one-year deal to come and play that Cheli would take that in a heartbeat. Beginning his career with Montreal back in the 1983-84 season, Chelios admits that as a Canadiens player he did whatever he wanted to do. When he was traded to his hometown Chicago Blackhawks in June of 1990, his game changed to a more aggressive style, which stressed antagonizing and instigating; however, according to Chelios, he didnt become a complete hockey player until he was traded to the Red Wings on March 23, 1999. I matured coming to Detroit because we played a laid-back style, Chelios told me recently. I became very disciplined and worked on my defensive game. My defensive game really improved when I became a Red Wing. I still had a temper; I just had to keep it in the closet because I didnt want to jeopardize the teams success. As terrific as Chelios was on the ice, his contributions off the ice were something that his teammates admired. Chelios was all about the team whether he was playing or not. During the Red Wings' run to the 2008 Stanley Cup, Chelios was in and out of the lineup. As much as he desired to play, he was determined to see the Wings hoist the cup after Game 6 in Pittsburgh, where he was a healthy scratch. Our team song that year was 'Baba ORiley,' and Cheli comes into the room (before the game) and puts the song on, former Red Wings teammate Kris Draper said. Just before he puts it on, he turns around and says, This is the last time Im playing this song. Were ending it tonight. We go out and come back after the first period and Chris Chelios is still in his gear, still in the locker room. Second period same thing. This is a guy that played 20-plus seasons in the NHL, and he was right there at the end. An unbelievable teammate. He just wanted to win. He knew he couldnt help us on the ice, so he did he did everything he could to do to help us off the ice. After the Wings won the championship that night, Chelios was handed the Stanley Cup in the lockerroom. The entire team surrounded Chelios and started chanting, Cheli! Cheli! Cheli! It just shows you what a great guy he is and what a great teammate he was to all of us, Draper said. A workout fiend, Chelios installed a television in the Red Wings' sauna so he could watch TV while he rode the exercise bike. The television and the bike still remain there. His workout regime is legendary, Holland said. Even at 45 years of age, hes coming down to sign his contract and he rides his bike to the Joe. Hes about to sign a multi-million contract and he rides he bike. I think he lived 25 miles away. Too me, Chris Chelios is about winning. Former teammate and fellow HOF inductee Brendan Shanahan said, It would be my honor to go into the Hall of Fame with Chris Chelios, a tremendous teammate and player. There are many reasons that Chelios is a Hall of Fame hockey player. Drive, determination, leadership, competitive spirit, the list goes on and on. But Chelios is a Hall of Famer mostly because of who he is and the life lessons he learned growing up. Ive never taken anything for granted with my NHL career, Chelios said. We didnt have a lot growing up; my father worked 80-90 hours a week at a restaurant. I saw what he had to go through to support our family. When you dont come from a lot, you learn to appreciate when you do get things. Thats the American Dream and a Hall of Fame attitude.
THE BACKYARD
BEST OF MAXIM
AROUND THE WEB
RELATED ARTICLES

Regner: My hate-love relationship with Chris Chelios

Chris Chelios won the last of his three Norris Trophies as the NHLs best defenseman back in 1996. The award was presented to him in Toronto during the NHL Awards Show, and I was there to cover the event. For years, I had hated Chelios. He was an incredible hockey player, but as captain of the Chicago Blackhawks, seemed like a real SOB. My unabashed hatred for him caused a major...

Chris Chelios’ perfect answer to “What team did you identify most with?”

Chris Chelios, back when he played for he Blackhawks. Photo: Sports Illustrated/CNN At the end of a long professional sports career, a common question asked of a retiring athlete is “Which team did you like playing for the most?”, or some such variation. Defenseman Chris Chelios, a Chicago, Ill. native who enjoyed a superbly successful NHL career that spanned 27 years, played...

Chris Chelios’s Hall Of Fame Case

The 2013 Hall of Fame class was announced yesterday.  Inducted were three male players in Chris Chelios, Scott Niedermayer and Brendan Shanahan.  Over the next few days I will make the Hall of Fame cases using the Keltner List, which is originally constructed for baseball but it is easily transferable to hockey.  Today I want to start with Chris Chelios.  Here is what i wrote...

Chris Chelios Leads Hockey Hall of Fame Class of 2013

On Tuesday afternoon, the 2013 Class of Hockey Hall of Fame inductees was announced. Former Chicago Blackhawks captain Chris Chelios, who was voted in on his first ballot, will be joined by Brendan Shanahan, Scott Niedermayer, Geraldine Heaney and Fred Shero. … Continue reading →The post Chris Chelios Leads Hockey Hall of Fame Class of 2013 appeared first on Committed Indians.

Blackhawks, Badgers icon Chris Chelios enters Hall of Fame

Chris Chelios entering the Hockey Hall of Fame in Toronto is a special moment for the Chicago Blackhawks, Detroit Red Wings and Wisconsin Badgers. Chelios is the first UW hockey alum enshrined alongside the likes of Gordie Howe, Wayne Gretzky, Bobby Orr and Mario Lemieux. Chelios skated in his record-tying 26th and final season in the NHL during the 2009-10 campaign. He accrued 1...

Red Wings overnight report: rounding up Chelios/Shanahan Hall of Fame news, prospect talk and Homer!

I am delighted that former Red Wings defenseman Chris Chelios and Brendan Shanahan were named part o the Hockey Hall of Fame's 2013 induction class today (ditto for the Bettman dig), but I sure as hell picked an awful travel day, because two players with long and storied careers being feted for their accomplishments = enough stories and tributes to keep someone who's "...

Chelios And Shanahan Part Of The 2013 HHOF Class

from Helene St. James of the Detroit Free Press, Former Detroit Red Wings teammates Chris Chelios and Brendan Shanahan will enter the Hockey Hall of Fame shoulder-to-shoulder, as both were among the 2013 inductees announced today. The only other player to be included was defenseman Scott Niedermayer. Eligible candidates were voted on by an 18-member selection committee....

Chris Chelios, Brendan Shanahan, Scott Niedermayer Headline 2013 Hockey Hall of Fame Inductees

The Hockey Hall of Fame added five new members to the elite club on Tuesday in Toronto. Chris Chelios and Scott Niedermayer were elected into the Hall in their first year of eligibility. Joining them are Brendan Shanahan who made the cut in his second year, Canadian national team defenseman Geraldine Heaney–the third woman to be elected as a player–and Fred Shero, coach of the...

Hockey Hall inductees named

Defensemen Scott Niedermayer and Chris Chelios , along with forward Brendan Shanahan have been picked for the Hockey Hall of Fame. They'll be joined in the class of 2013 by Geraldine Heaney, the third woman to be enshrined in the hall, and coach Fred Shero, who led the Philadelphia Flyers to the Stanley Cup in 1974 and '75. He was selected posthumously in the builder category...

Scott Niedermayer, Chris Chelios, Brendan Shanahan Highlight 2013 Hockey Hall Of Fame Class

The Hockey Hall of Fame Class of 2013 has been announced and Scott Niedermayer, Chris Chelios, Brendan Shanahan, Fred Shero, and Geraldine Heaney will be joining hockey’s elite in the hall. Niedermayer played from 1991 to 2010 for the New Jersey Devils and Anaheim Ducks, winning a Stanley Cup with both teams (three with NJ, one with ANA). Niedermayer also won Olympic Gold in 2002...

NHL Announces 2013 Hall Of Fame Class

Eyeing up the list of the 2013 Hall of Fame Inductees, three names pop out right away, while the average hockey fan may not recognize the other two. Chris Chelios, Scott Niedermayer, and Brendan Shanahan all are joining the prestigious club based in Toronto for their efforts as players while Fred Shero and Geraldine Heaney also were voted in. Chelios and Shanahan To be pulled...

D…As in Dynasty

Bowman, Yzerman, Fetisov, Larionov, Robitaille, Hull and now two more today. It shouldn't have come as a surprise. Maybe it's unpleasant for many of you, because of the hard fact their induction represents, but Brendan Shanahan and Chris Chelios aren't even the end of the line.   The 2002 Red Wings were the greatest hockey team of all time, and the legacy they left...

Former Flyers Coach Fred Shero selected for Hockey Hall of Fame

(Toronto) Today the Hockey Hall of Fame announced the Class of 2013 which includes a member of the Broad Street Bullies in head coach Fred Shero. Voting for the Hall of Fame  was conducted by the Hall’s 18-member selection committee. The other ones going into the hall of fame with Shero is Scott Niedermayer, Chris Chelios, [...]
Today's Best Stuff
For Bloggers

Join the Yardbarker Network for more promotion, traffic, and money.

Company Info
Help
What is Yardbarker?

Yardbarker is the largest network of sports blogs and pro athlete blogs on the web. This site is the hub of the Yardbarker Network, where our editors and algorithms curate the best sports content from our network and beyond.