Could Dealing Barker and Sopel Open the Door for a Chelios Return?

Could it be? Could Chris Chelios come back to the Hawks?
Could it be? Could Chris Chelios come back to the Hawks?

Trade rumors are still flying around the Chicago Blackhawks on Monday, but nothing has been substantiated yet.

The most prevalent rumorhas the Blackhawks sending defenseman Cam Barker to Ottawa for defenseman Alexandrre Picard and center Ryan Shannon. Also, in some way related to this transaction, Hawks defenseman Brent Sopel would somehow end up in Toronto.

While Barker and Sopel have been the most regular names in trade rumors lately, moving both of them would put the Hawks into a tough situation on their blue line. Right now, the Hawks only have seven defensemen with the team, and Jordan Hendry is regularly a healthy scratch.

Moving both Barker and Sopel, and only receiving one defenseman in Picard in return, would leave the Hawks shorthanded on the blue line.

Or would it?

Currently skating in Chicago in the AHL, for the independent Chicago Wolves, is 47-year old future Hall of Famer and Blackhawks hero Chris Chelios.

Chelios has been pretty clear about his desire to get back into the NHL, and has also been fairly blunt about wanting to play for a winner that’s also close to his suburban Chicago home.

Put two and two together here, people. A potential winner, close to Chicago…

Chelios also happened to captain the Hawks through some of their great seasons in the 1990s, before being dealt to Detroit. He’s still one of the most liked and respected personalities in the history of the Blackhawks organization.

However, Chelios hasn’t been around the Hawks organization for a decade. Indeed, the only times he was ever seen at the United Center were in a Detroit sweater, and that was when the coaching staff felt like dressing him. Frankly, the name Chelios was a ghost in the history books of the Blackhawks for years…

Until last Sunday night.

On Nov. 15, the Blackhawks hosted the San Jose Sharks and celebrated the great Chicago career of Jeremy Roenick. During the third period, the jumboscreen showed JR in the alumni box at the United Center, and a familiar forehead was in the corner of the picture. When the camera panned back, there was Chelios, sitting next to Roenick.

[On a personal note, I teared up a little bit as a Hawks fan seeing the two together again in the United Center. It felt like something had been made right 10 years too late.]

I know Chelios was there to enjoy an evening with an old teammate and friend, but his mere presence in the building was enough to make an old Blackhawks’ memory wander.

Now, if the Hawks are in need of a solid defenseman who won’t make stupid mistakes and play small minutes (maybe eight a night), could a return from Chelios be in the cards?

6 thoughts on “Could Dealing Barker and Sopel Open the Door for a Chelios Return?

  1. Yeah, and JR will come out of retirement dragging Eddie B. with him and the whole gang will be back again. I’ve got a bottle of your choice of adult beverage that says don’t get your hopes up. Let’s focus on the folks half his age and a redwing worth paying attention to: Hossa.

  2. This pining for Chelios by some Hawks fans has to stop. His time has ended. Let’s move on. I’m sure the romanticized nostalgia is nice to pass the time with, though…

  3. I’m not advocating Chelios as a top-4 replacement…

    All I’m pointing out is that A) Chelios wants back into the NHL, B) he’s in Chicago, C) the Hawks might need a 7th d-man & D) Chelios would bring cheap experience to the roster.

  4. Have you watched Chelios play for the Wolves? He’s so slow at this point he makes Sopel look like Duncan Keith. He’s getting walked around by AHL forwards, he’s no longer an NHL defenseman.

  5. Hi there,

    I hecked the stats.. Chelios has a plus 9.. Near the top for his team. He also has 10 points. He is by no means (according to the stats) getting walked around. Also, romanticizing sells hockey tickets. However, can he be good enough. I also believe veterans have a salary starting point that is higher than rookies. (Not sure on that though).

    If he can walk the walk.. Why not put him on the ice. Give the guy a chance,, if he can’t cut it,, send him to the minors…

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