Chris Chelios officially retires
Joins Detroit Red Wings' front office
Last Updated: Tuesday, August 31, 2010 | 2:08 PM ET
By Chris Iorfida, CBC Sports
Chris Chelios announced his retirement as a player on Tuesday and rejoined the Detroit Red Wings, in a front office capacity.
Chelios, 48, played games in 26 NHL seasons. He had hinted at such a move in early August.
The defenceman scored 185 goals and 763 assists for 948 points in 1,651 career NHL games. He was drafted by Montreal in 1981 and played over six seasons with the Canadiens, followed by nine with the Chicago Blackhawks (1990-99).
He is the all-time leader in NHL playoff games played, with 266. He won three Stanley Cups in his career, with the Canadiens in 1986 and Detroit in 2002 and 2008.
He told a news conference in Detroit that he felt blessed to play for three Original Six clubs.
"You put that [Red Wings] jersey on and there's something about it, like putting the other two jerseys on, that just made you feel like you had to succeed and you had to work," said Chelios.
Chelios also said he relished the opportunity to play in the hockey-mad Canadian cities, and took time in his sometimes rambling speech to acknowledge his relationship with legendary Montreal sportswriter Red Fisher and express his condolences over the death of friend and former NHL tough guy Bob Probert.
He lost his composure when talking about his family, saying that his four children have given him "more joy than hockey."
As for his wife of 27 years, Tracy, Chelios said: "It's a lot tougher doing what she's done than what I've done as a player."
The Chicago native won the Norris as the NHL's best defenceman three times (1989, 1993, 1996), and played in 11 NHL all-star games.
Chelios was a staple on U.S. teams for two decades. He is a four-time Olympian (1984, 1998, 2002, 2006), and also figured for the Americans in three Canada Cups and two World Cups, including their 1996 victory.Union work criticized
Off the ice, Chelios was one of the more involved players with respect to participating in NHLPA initiatives, and took heat from some factions for the dissension that has plagued the union in recent years.
Chelios said he learned early in his career from former Canadiens greats Bob Gainey and Larry Robinson that it was critical to get involved with the players union.
The Red Wings decided to say goodbye to Chelios as a player after a decade-long relationship in the summer of 2009. He played seven games with the Atlanta Thrashers last season, also skating in the American Hockey League with the Chicago Wolves.
Chelios has been given the title of adviser to hockey operations. The club said he will apprentice in the front office, learning business operations of the team as well as mentoring the organization's young players.
Detroit general manager Ken Holland said Chelios will particularly valuable with respect to the blue line prospects they have in Grand Rapids in the American Hockey League and in the collegiate and junior hockey ranks.http://www.cbc.ca/sports/hockey/story/2 ... uture.html