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Winning keeps Chelios going and going

Friday, 04.3.2009 / 12:16 PM ET / News
By Dan Rosen  - NHL.com Senior Writer
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Winning keeps Chelios going and going
The names read like a Hall of Fame checklist.

Patrick Roy. Larry Robinson. Bob Gainey. Steve Yzerman. Brett Hull. Brian Leetch. Nicklas Lidstrom. Sergei Fedorov. Luc Robitaille. Michel Goulet. Dominik Hasek. Ed Belfour.

Whether it was in Montreal, Chicago, Detroit or through USA Hockey, Chris Chelios has played and won with all of those current or future Hall of Famers. From 1984 until right now, Chelios has run the gamut in the NHL.

And even at age 47, he's still not ready to quit.

"I feel the same way as I did as a rookie or as I did as a kid; I come to the rink and I don't know anything else," said Chelios, a Chicago native. "After this year if someone is willing to give me the opportunity to play and I can contribute and enjoy it, I'll keep playing."

Whenever he does retire, Chelios hopes for one thing -- to be remembered as a good, respectable teammate.

"When I do leave this game, the respect I got from the players and my teammates, to me that's the most important thing," Chelios said. "How they acknowledge me throughout the years as a player and a person."

He seems fairly safe in that department.

Even this season, despite playing just 24 games, Chelios has been nothing short of a magnificent leader for the Red Wings as they embark on yet another Stanley Cup run.

"Cheli is an unbelievable individual and I'm just glad to be here and to learn something from that guy," Detroit forward Marian Hossa told NHL.com. "He would love to play because he's a big competitor, but he takes his role pretty seriously. He understands the concept that there are so many good and young defensemen coming up, but it's unbelievable when you look at his record. It's good for the young guys to learn from him."

Chelios admits the fact that his career has reached the quarter-century mark amazes him. Winning has kept him going.
"It's still fun," he said.

Save for a few dark years in Chicago in the late 1990s, it's always been fun, because Chelios always has been a winner.

He broke in with the Montreal Canadiens during the 1983-84 season, and in his second full season they won the 1986 Stanley Cup. Chelios went to the 1992 Stanley Cup Final with his hometown Chicago Blackhawks, but lost to Mario Lemieux and the Pittsburgh Penguins.

Chelios has won the Stanley Cup twice since coming to Detroit in a trade with Chicago at the late in the 1998-99 season. He also has won the Norris Trophy three times (1989, 1993, 1996).

"Winning has made the biggest decision for me to keep playing, being a part of it and contributing," Chelios said. "I enjoy still being a part of it. Right now it's in a limited role, but anybody who is 47 would die to be in my situation right now."

That he's spent his entire career surrounded by rich hockey history only has added to his entire experience.

Chelios was born in 1962, when there were just six teams in the League, and he has played for three of them.

"It was like having a Harvard degree coming out of Montreal with the history and tradition behind the Montreal Canadiens organization," Chelios said. "And then to go home to Chicago -- same thing, great history. To finish it off here -- or maybe finish it off here -- I think I have been very fortunate to have played for three Original Six teams."

He's done it with a surplus of legendary players spanning generations.

"That's the thing about hockey, the guys you have met along the way," Chelios said. "What an honor it was to play with and against some of these guys. (My teammates are) my family. They have been for the last 25 years."


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EASTERN CONFERENCE
  TEAM GP W L OT GF GA PTS
1 WSH 53 40 9 4 175 120 84
2 FLA 55 32 17 6 153 127 70
3 NYR 55 31 18 6 157 140 68
4 DET 55 28 18 9 138 134 65
5 NYI 53 29 18 6 150 131 64
6 TBL 54 30 20 4 144 130 64
7 BOS 54 29 19 6 159 148 64
8 PIT 54 28 19 7 139 136 63
9 NJD 55 27 21 7 122 123 61
10 CAR 55 24 21 10 131 143 58
11 MTL 56 27 25 4 151 151 58
12 PHI 53 24 20 9 127 138 57
13 OTT 56 25 25 6 157 173 56
14 BUF 56 22 28 6 131 155 50
15 CBJ 56 22 28 6 140 173 50
16 TOR 53 19 25 9 122 149 47

STATS

2015-2016 REGULAR SEASON
SKATERS: GP G A +/- Pts
D. Larkin 54 18 20 25 38
H. Zetterberg 55 10 28 5 38
T. Tatar 54 16 17 -1 33
G. Nyquist 55 14 16 -1 30
P. Datsyuk 40 9 21 14 30
J. Abdelkader 55 14 15 -2 29
M. Green 47 4 17 -7 21
N. Kronwall 45 3 14 -10 17
B. Richards 41 5 11 6 16
D. DeKeyser 51 7 8 12 15
 
GOALIES: W L OT Sv% GAA
P. Mrazek 21 10 5 .933 1.94
J. Howard 7 8 4 .904 2.89