TORONTO – Chris Chelios is 51 years old, but that doesn’t necessarily mean his hockey-playing career is over.
Chelios, who will be inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame on Monday, said he has considered going to Europe to play with his sons, Dean and Jake, like Gordie Howe played with Mark and Marty for the Hartford Whalers.
“My guys are seniors in college now, and if for some crazy (reason) they don’t make it (to the NHL), which, realistically there’s just not enough jobs, I wouldn’t hesitate,” Chelios said Friday. “I’m staying in shape to go to Europe, pick a good country and take my whole family over there and go play with them there. Like Switzerland, I’ve been there. Who knows? We’ve done crazier things in our family.”
Chelios later claimed he was joking. And he made it clear that he wouldn’t trying to do it in the NHL or AHL.
Dean, 24, and Jake, 22, play for Michigan State’s hockey team.
Chris Chelios played his final NHL game for the Atlanta Thrashers on April 6, 2010. He played a total of 1,651 games, the most of any defenceman or American in history.
Chelios, who now works as an adviser to hockey operations with the Detroit Red Wings, still skates occasionally.
“More pushing pucks and blowing whistles in Grand Rapids,” he said. “Every once in a while I’ll do a Tuesday night group. I skate more in the summer with my sons than I do actually during the season. Going to have to skate for the Winter Classic. I’m looking forward to that.”
Chelios is set to take part in the Winter Classic alumni game in Detroit on New Year’s Eve.