Caley Chelios is one of four Chelios offspring continuing the athletic tradition of their famous father. Former Blackhawks legend Chris Chelios was in attendance, as his daughter Caley Chelios, a Northwestern lacrosse defender, saw some playing time in the Friendly Confines. NU defeated USC 12-7 last night in front of about 5,000 people.
Caley hails from Detroit, where her dad works in the Red Wings front office, and she’s a graduate of the famous Cranbrook Academy. (Quoting Jimmy B. Rabbit Smith, in reference to his rap battle opponent Papa Doc in 8 Mile: “Cranbrook- that’s a private school!”) Caley led Cranbrook to a state title in ice hockey in 2010, but chose lacrosse instead in college.
Chris Chelios bought 500 tickets (at $10 a pop, that’s five grand he dropped tonight on tickets alone) and handed them out to Northwestern students. I caught up to Chelios in his suite at 1060 W. Addison and he spoke of his generous gesture.
“Nobody likes to play to an empty stadium,” Chelios said. Today, Chris Chelios works with both the Detroit Red Wings and with player development for the Grand Rapids Griffins. In addition to his days with the Hawks, he’s pretty well known for the championships he won with the Detroit Red Wings and prior to that in college with the Wisconsin Badgers.
Caley Chelios grew up in Michigan, but she had a significant Chicago upbringing too.
“It’s an amazing stadium, a blast to be a part of this venue,” said Caley Chelios of Wrigley Field.
“Technically, my Dad’s southside, but I love Wrigley, we always came here, always been a Cubbies fan, and we still go to those games whenever we can. It’s always fun, I love the Cubs.”
What about Red Wings versus Blackhawks?
“It’s tricky, I love Chicago so much and I’m from here, so I’ve kind of become a Hawks fan, but as long as my Dad still works for the Red Wings, I’m still loyal to them, he had some great moments there, I love the Wings, but I’m also a little Hawks-y now.”
Wildcats’ coach Kelly Amonte Hiller is the sister of NHLer Tony Amonte, who spent parts of five seasons playing alongside Chris Chelios with the Chicago Blackhawks.
Next year Caley’s little sister, Tara Chelios, will join Caley on the Northwestern lacrosse roster. Tara will be a midfielder. And then of course, you have Caley’s older brothers, who followed their father into hockey. Dean Chelios is a forward for the Michigan State Spartans and the Toledo Walleye of the ECHL. And Jake Chelios, another MSU hockey alum, recently signed with the Chicago Wolves of the AHL. I recently caught up to Jake, to talk about playing for one of the same franchises with which his dad played; toward the end of his career.
“It’s really awesome to see him out there, he looks big and we’re happy to see him playing outside the college level, we’re happy to see that he got a full contract with them,” said Caley Chelios of Jake Chelios.
And then with Tara coming to Chicagoland…”it’ll be great to have all of us here and to keep tabs on each other,” said Caley of the very athletically gifted Chelios clan.
Paul M. Banks owns The Sports Bank.net, an affiliate of Fox Sports. He’s also a frequent guest on national talk radio. Banks is a former contributor to NBC Chicago and the Washington Times, who’s been featured on the History Channel. President Obama follows him on Twitter (@paulmbanks)Follow paulmbanks