Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Forever Young: Chelios Officially Back In The NHL

I lost my internet connection when I was working on this post yesterday so this is kind of late, for that I apologize.

If you have not already heard, the ageless wonder Chris Chelios has officially been called up to the NHL's Atlanta Thrashers. Just last week he inked a new deal with them and it didn't take long for him to be up with the big club.

Chelios will be in uniform as the Thrashers take on the Columbus Blue Jackets tonight in Columbus, Ohio. This will be Chelio's 26th NHL season. In 46 games for Atlanta's AHL team, Chelios had 5 goals and 17 assists for 22 points.

"Chris has been an outstanding leader and mentor for our young players in Chicago and his level of play has made him deserving of this opportunity," Atlanta GM Don Waddell said. "He's a tremendous competitor who strengthens our group of defensemen and instantly adds a veteran presence to our locker room."

Info from the Thrashers press release:

The Chicago, Ill., native has registered 948 points (185 goals, 763 assists) and 2,891 penalty minutes in 1,644 career NHL games with the Detroit Red Wings, Chicago Blackhawks and Montreal Canadiens. In a NHL-record 266 career Stanley Cup Playoff games, Chelios has collected 144 points (31 goals, 113 assists) while capturing the Stanley Cup three times, once with Montreal (1986) and twice with Detroit (2002 and 2008).

In his 25-year NHL career, Chelios ranks fourth in games played, eighth in all-time assists by a defenseman, and ranks 10th among defensemen in points. Among American-born players, he ranks first in games played, second in plus/minus (plus-352) , and third in points by a defenseman.

The 6-0, 190-pound defenseman has earned the Norris Trophy as the NHL’s top defenseman three times (1989, 1993, 1996), has been named to the NHL’s First All-Star Team five times (1989, 1993, 1995, 1996, 2002), and has participated in 11 NHL All-Star Games.

Chelios has represented the United States in international competition 12 times, and served as team captain at the 1998, 2002 and 2006 Winter Olympics. He led the U.S. to a Silver Medal at the 2002 Games in Salt Lake City and also won a Gold Medal at the 1996 World Cup of Hockey. He has also appeared in the 1984 Winter Olympics, the 1984, 1987, 1991 Canada Cup, the 1982 IIHF World Junior Championship and captured the 1983 NCAA Men’s Hockey Championship with the University of Wisconsin.