The old man of hockey has called it a day. Veteran defenseman Chris Chelios has apparently decided to hang up his skates and join the Detroit Red Wings front office. According to a report on Fox Sports Detroit, the 48-year-old revealed his plans after singing “Take Me Out to the Ballgame” during a Chicago Cubs home game. The station also quotes Red Wings general manager Ken Holland as confirming the move, but without a specific role.
Chelios played in a record-tying 26th NHL season last year, a brief seven-game stint with the Atlanta Thrashers where he failed to record a point. He tied Gordie Howe’s original mark, first set when he played from 1945-71 and 1979-80. Since breaking into the league with Montreal after the 1984 Winter Olympics, the Chicago native compiled 185 goals and 948 points over 1,651 regular-season games with the Canadiens, Blackhawks, Red Wings and Thrashers.
In addition, the often-punishing blueliner recorded 31 goals and 144 points in 266 playoff contests. He was part of three Stanley Cup-winning clubs, the 1986 Canadiens and the Red Wings in 2002 and 2008. Chelios played for the Wings from the tail end of the 1998-99 campaign through 2009.
He was very active in charitable causes during his playing days in Chicago, founding Cheli’s Children.