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Chelios believes he had still play in the NHL

Wednesday, 06.24.2009 / 1:19 PM ET / News
By Michael Caples  - Detroit Red Wings Staff Writer
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Chelios believes he had still play in the NHL
DETROIT -- Chris Chelios was asked what he would miss most about playing for the Red Wings, he responded quickly with one word.

“Winning.”

The 47-year-old defenseman announced during a Wednesday press conference at his downtown Detroit restaurant that he would not be returning to the Wings for his 26th NHL season. However, the three-time Stanley Cup champion had only good things to say about his former team.

“I was with the Detroit Red Wings at the best time you could possibly be, that’s the way I look at it,” Chelios said.  “And I’m very fortunate to be a part of the last 10 years here.”

Chelios played in 578 games with the Wings, recording 21 goals, 131 assists and 613 penalty minutes. He helped the Wings to Cup championships in 2002 and 2008.

Chelios leads all American-born NHL players in games played, with 1,644. He is the only player to skate in 400 games with three different NHL teams (Detroit, Chicago and Montreal). Chelios only skated in 28 games this season, but he said he was happy with the end result.

“I have no regrets,” he said. “I was one game shy of winning the Stanley Cup, and it couldn’t have gone any better.”

The former assistant captain said that from the start of the season, it was a struggle for him to get into the line-up. Chelios talked about how he broke his leg in the preseason, and didn’t perform the way he needed to after his return.

He didn’t blame coach Mike Babcock for his line-up decisions.

“It had to happen,” Chelios said of his lack of game action. “If I would have come out in exhibition and scored every game like I did two years ago, I would have assured myself a spot, it would have made it tough, but I never made it tough for (Babcock) to keep me in the line-up.”

Chelios remains confident that he will play in the NHL next season. 

“Whether I can get the opportunity in the right situation in the right city, it just remains to be seen,” he said. “That’s all it is. There’s no question I feel I can play.”

If he doesn’t land a spot on an NHL roster, Chelios said that he has spoken with USA Olympic team general manager Brian Burke and could have a significant role with the team during the 2010 Olympics in Vancouver.

Either way, Chelios wants to stay within the game.

“I can’t see myself ever not being involved with hockey,” he said.

However, Wings' fans can feel slightly more comfortable about him leaving, since Chelios hopes to play in the Eastern Conference next season.

“I would like to play in the East, only because of travel, and because it would make it a lot easier to get back and forth to my family if need be,” Chelios said. “There’s no question it’s a lot easier on the body and the mind, and getting back and forth.”

Even if he plays next season, Chelios made it clear that he is far from saying goodbye to Detroit.

“I’m not done here,” he said. “I think I have a lot more to bring to the city once I’m done playing.  I’m proud of the restaurants and what they’ve done, and what I’ve done for the community, and I’ve tried to represent myself and the Detroit Red Wings in the best manner that I can. Hopefully I’ve done that.”



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STANDINGS

EASTERN CONFERENCE
  TEAM GP W L OT GF GA PTS
1 p - WSH 82 56 18 8 252 193 120
2 x - PIT 82 48 26 8 245 203 104
3 y - FLA 82 47 26 9 239 203 103
4 x - NYR 82 46 27 9 236 217 101
5 x - NYI 82 45 27 10 232 216 100
6 x - TBL 82 46 31 5 227 201 97
7 x - PHI 82 41 27 14 214 218 96
8 x - DET 82 41 30 11 211 224 93
9 BOS 82 42 31 9 240 230 93
10 CAR 82 35 31 16 198 226 86
11 OTT 82 38 35 9 236 247 85
12 NJD 82 38 36 8 184 208 84
13 MTL 82 38 38 6 221 236 82
14 BUF 82 35 36 11 201 222 81
15 CBJ 82 34 40 8 219 252 76
16 TOR 82 29 42 11 198 246 69

STATS

2015-2016 REGULAR SEASON
SKATERS: GP G A +/- Pts
H. Zetterberg 82 13 37 -15 50
P. Datsyuk 66 16 33 7 49
D. Larkin 80 23 22 11 45
T. Tatar 81 21 24 4 45
G. Nyquist 82 17 26 -2 43
J. Abdelkader 82 19 23 -16 42
M. Green 74 7 28 -6 35
B. Richards 68 10 18 4 28
D. Helm 77 13 13 -2 26
N. Kronwall 64 3 23 -21 26
 
GOALIES: W L OT Sv% GAA
P. Mrazek 27 16 6 .921 2.33
J. Howard 14 14 5 .906 2.80