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 1,651 regular-season games and 1,917 total games, finally retiring at the age of 48.
The Chris Chelios resume highlights are: three-time Stanley Cup champion, three-time Norris Trophy winner, four-time U.S. Olympian, three-time U.S. Olympic captain and 1983 NCAA champion.
Arguably the greatest American-born hockey player, I don’t know Mike Modano?? Patrick Kane has a ways to go yet to reach that kind of status? Chelios scored 22 times and posted 97 points in 88 games for Wisconsin from 1981-83. He was part of the 1983 NCAA Frozen Four All-Tournament Team after helping the Badgers capture their fourth NCAA title.
An 11-time NHL All-Star Game participant, Chelios was the first player to skate in 400 games with three different NHL teams. He began his career with the Montreal Canadiens late in the 1983-84 season, before finishing second behind Lemieux in the race for rookie of the year in 1984-85. After capturing his first Stanley Cup in 1986, his first Norris Trophy in 1989 and becoming the first American-born captain of the Canadiens, Chelios was dealt to the Chicago Blackhawks before the start of the 1990-91 season.
In Chicago, his home state until the age of 13, Chelios won two more Norris Trophies in 1993 and 1996 and led his hometown team to the 1992 Stanley Cup finals. During his Blackhawks’ tenure, Chelios captained his second NHL squad.
Chelios moved on to the Red Wings in a trade late in the 1998-99 season. There, he would claim his second and third Stanley Cups, winning in 2002 and 2008.
The second-oldest player in NHL history, Chelios retired fifth in NHL history for regular season games played (1,651), which ranks tops among American-born skaters and all defensemen. He also holds the NHL record with 266 playoff games and 24 NHL playoff appearances.
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