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Chelios praised as a 'war horse'

Larger-than-life figure, Chelios' famous friends came out for his induction

Monday, 11.11.2013 / 9:18 PM ET / News
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Chelios praised as a \'war horse\'

After James Duthie welcomed everyone to the proceedings at the 2013 Hockey Hall of Fame induction ceremony, Ken Dryden narrated a tribute to members of the military on Remembrance Day in Canada and Veterans Day in the United States.

The first Hall inductee to be honored was Chris Chelios. Pat Quinn called Chelios a "defensive war horse" in the introduction to the evening. Chelios spent parts of 26 seasons in the League, playing more than anyone in history save for fellow Red Wings legend Gordie Howe.

Chelios was a larger-than-life figure in the NHL, and many of his famous friends were here for the ceremony. Among those here to celebrate with Chelios and walking the red carpet before the ceremony were Tony Danza, Cuba Gooding, Jr., John Cusack, John McEnroe, D.B. Sweeney and John McGinley.

Chelios began with talking about the surreal story of how he ended up becoming an NHL player. He used the word "comical" to describe how he was able to make it as a kid who grew up in California, where there wasn't much hockey played.

He talked about not having any hockey heroes growing up, but looking up to Dick Butkus after spending his early years in Chicago. Instead of thanking the Hockey Hall of Fame, he apologized for being "the biggest pain in the rump" in the history of the Hall because of all the people he brought with him to Toronto this weekend.

Chelios thanked his coaches in Moose Jaw for giving him a "crash course" in becoming a defenseman. He thanked his coaches at the University of Wisconsin, "Badger" Bob Johnson and Jeff Sauer.

He said when people ask him how he was able to play so long in the NHL, he always says, "Patrick Roy, Eddie Belfour, Dominik Hasek and Chris Osgood" because they were the great goaltenders who have helped him look good on some nights where he wasn't.

Chelios recapped his incredible career, thanking coaches and general managers and teammates from Montreal, Chicago and Detroit along the way.

Next Chelios spoke of his involvement in labor negotiations. He called it the "ugly" part of the game and said no one won, but thanked past prominent members of the NHL Players' Association and urged younger players to educate themselves on the stories of past players like Ted Lindsay.

After that, he said he wanted to talk about the "beautiful" part of the game, in which he thanked his family. After saying that he forgot about the joke he was going to open with and saying his speech was actually going better than he expected or hoped, Chelios closed with saying the most important thing has always been his family and friends and this night could be classified as "what an ending."

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  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
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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

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2015-2016 REGULAR SEASON
SKATERS: GP G A +/- Pts
H. Zetterberg 82 13 37 -15 50
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
R. Sheahan 81 14 11 -8 25
 
GOALIES: W L OT Sv% GAA
P. Mrazek 27 16 6 .921 2.33
J. Howard 14 14 5 .906 2.80