Skip to content

Chelios sees future as NHL head coach

Dec 18, 2012, 4:09 PM EDT

US Hockey Hall Of Fame Induction Getty Images

Chris Chelios can see himself as a bench boss.

That’s what the 50-year-old rearguard told the Detroit News this week, saying that coaching AHL Grand Rapids during the lockout has prepared him for a possible career change.

“I’m having a lot of fun,” Chelios said. “I’m enjoying being with the guys, with Blash [Griffins head coach Jeff Blashill] and the staff. It’s been a real good experience.”

Just two years removed from playing — he retired after playing seven games with Atlanta during the 2009-10 season — Chelios is now serving the Wings as an Adviser to Hockey Operations.

He’s worked in both a scouting capacity and public/community relations but, with the lockout in full effect, he’s now spending more and more time coaching Detroit’s young defense corps in the American league.

Many of the guys Chelios played against during his 26-year career are now head coaches themselves: Dan Bylsma, Joe Sacco, Kevin Dineen, Dave Tippett and Randy Carlyle, to name a few.

Chelios would love to get to the same heights as those coaches (Tippett and Bylsma have each won Jack Adams Awards) but knows he’ll need plenty of experience before getting there.

“One thing I’ve learned is you could be the greatest player of all time, but you really do need experience to coach,” Chelios said. “There’s a lot of stuff to learn, a lot of stuff you learn only through experience.

“It’s just the way it is. I like it. We’ll see.”

  1. matt8204 - Dec 18, 2012 at 4:18 PM

    Anyone else notice that great players rarely become great coaches, in any sport? Ted Williams, Frank Robinson, Otto Graham, Norm Van Brocklin, etc. It’s usually guys who were role players or those who didn’t play in the pros at all who end up being the best coaches. The greats often rely on instinct and raw talent and can’t explain how they did what they did. They probably often get frustrated when their charges can’t play the way they used to.

    • rodeoclowndc - Dec 18, 2012 at 4:35 PM

      I’m glad Adam Oates is proving to be the exception to this pretty accurate rule.

  2. liamj55 - Dec 18, 2012 at 5:01 PM

    How much further? Isn’t he already near his 50s…………..

    • mcrdl76 - Dec 18, 2012 at 6:47 PM

      Yeah-didn’t he allegedly make a death threat towards Bettman during the last lockout ? then couldn’t seem to hang up his skates after the NHL-so played in the minor leagues . a real class act, I mean clown. He doesn’t have the chops to be an NHL head coach anyway, between his ears.. Maybe qualified for some form of racketeering or loan sharking, like maybe in Chi town, see, mugsy..

      • mrchainbluelightning - Dec 19, 2012 at 1:36 AM

        He didn’t make any threats, he just said that Bettman might want to consider that a crazed hero ,errr I mean fan might try to take Bettman out of the picture.

        Hopefully something like that doesn’t happen.

        Without getting Daly too

  3. rosloe62 - Dec 18, 2012 at 5:27 PM

    I’d like to see Chilly back in Chicago!

    • mcrdl76 - Dec 18, 2012 at 6:53 PM

      see above

  4. ducksk - Dec 18, 2012 at 5:41 PM

    Sorry, was never a good team guy. Great player on the ice! Not sue about the bench and locker room.

    • mrchainbluelightning - Dec 19, 2012 at 1:38 AM

      “never a good team guys” don’t play into their late 40’s without being “good team guys”
      Furthermore, The Red Wings don’t keep around “never a good team guy” for a decade.

  5. natlbnkilr - Dec 18, 2012 at 5:54 PM

    Chelios is one of the biggest pricks I’ve met. Maybe a great player in his prime but a terrible role model for young players. I hope he sticks to owning a restaurant and not poisoning the youth of the NHL.

  6. deadrabbit79 - Dec 18, 2012 at 6:25 PM

    Since he can see the future can he tell us when the lockout will end?

  7. valoisvipers - Dec 19, 2012 at 12:01 AM

    Mention Chelios and I can’t help but to think of the Japan Olympics. So no I don’t think he would make a good coach but was a great cheap shot artist.The guy had heart and talent but I never liked him.

  8. id4joey - Dec 19, 2012 at 7:50 AM

    Patrick Roy, a great player (a$$ as a person) has been a very successful junior coach. He may get the opportunity to be part of the Canadian Junior team. He already was offered a job but said he wasn’t ready yet.

Top 10 NHL Player Searches
  1. P. Kane (1716)
  2. P. Kessel (1477)
  3. M. Richards (1243)
  4. P. Datsyuk (1081)
  5. N. Backstrom (1054)