On Tuesday, Chris Chelios will formally announce the end of his great NHL career.
Acquired on June 29, 1990 from the Montreal Canadiens with a second-round draft pick in exchange for Denis Savard, Chelios would play in 664 games between the 1990-91 season through 1998-99, serving as captain from 1995-99.
He ranks third all-time among Blackhawks defensemen with 487 points (92 G, 395 A), behind only Doug Wilson and Bob Murray. Considering Wilson (779 pts in 938 gms) and Murray (514 pts in 1,008 gms) saw so many more games in their prime than Chelios did in Chicago, saying Chelios is the greatest scoring defenseman in team history wouldn’t be a stretch.
Chelios won two Norris Trophies in Chicago, the award given to the top defenseman in the league.
Chelios scored 13 game-winning goals for the Hawks, had an astounding plus-minus of +120, which ranks fifth in the organization’s history at any position, and his 1,495 penalty minutes just edge past Keith Magnuson and Al Secord for the most in the history of the Blackhawks.
Beyond the numbers, though, Chelios was in every way the leader Blackhawks fans wanted and deserved. On some of the great teams of the early 1990s, with Steve Larmer, Jeremy Roenick and Ed Belfour, Chelios was the first-class defenseman that everyone respected. He grew up in Chicago, and always came back in the summer.
Chelios was top shelf in every way, and will forever be loved by Hawks fans (even if he works for the Red Wings).