Skip to content

Chris Chelios played ‘until the tank was empty’

Jul 9, 2013, 9:01 PM EDT

Chris Chelios AP

It’s likely that just about every player – even Hall of Famers – retire with a regret or two. Leaving the game too early isn’t something that Chris Chelios is likely to ponder, however.

At 51, Chelios is the oldest first-time HHOF eligible candidate the selection committee ever considered, according to NHL.com. He seemed grateful to last long enough to appear in 1,651 games, which is the fifth-most among NHL defensemen and the most of any American-born player.

“I always said I’d go right until the tank was empty and I believe I did,” Chelios said.

Chelios was able to dispel any doubt by playing until he was 48, including a still-strange run with the Atlanta Thrashers (via Getty).

source: Getty Images

 

That’s quite the odd finish for a guy who began his career with the Montreal Canadiens in 1983.

“I came in and I played with Guy LaFleur, Steve Shutt, Larry Robinson, Bob Gainey,” Chelios said. “They took me under their wings and I learned from the best. Hockey players are great guys in general, but to learn from the best, guys who had so much success, you have to listen to them. That, I think, had a big bearing on my career.”

Of course, such a long run draws the stray joke, including this bit of needling from fellow inductee Scott Niedermayer (via Eric Stephens of the OC Register):

“I was part of one era. I think Chris was part of a few,” Niedermayer said.

Latest Posts
  1. WATCH LIVE: Tonight’s Stanley Cup Playoff action

    May 3, 2015, 11:42 PM EDT

    Corey Crawford, Charlie Coyle AP

    There are three contests scheduled for Sunday.

  2. Video: Crawford needs to change mask after absorbing slapshot to head

    May 3, 2015, 11:36 PM EDT

    Crawford

    He seemed initially dazed, but stayed in the game.

  3. Video: Toews’ shorthanded shot barely crosses the line

    May 3, 2015, 10:27 PM EDT

    Toews goal

    Devan Dubnyk had some bad luck on this one.

  4. Prust blasts referee Watson after getting tossed from Game 2

    May 3, 2015, 9:58 PM EDT

    Brandon Prust Getty Images

    “He tries to play God. He tries to control the game and he did that tonight.”

  5. Stamkos, power play comes alive as Lightning take 2-0 series lead vs. Habs

    May 3, 2015, 8:52 PM EDT

    Steven Stamkos, Ryan Callahan AP

    The series will now return to Tampa Bay where the Lightning were 32-8-1 in the regular season.

  6. Lightning lose Cedric Paquette to undisclosed injury

    May 3, 2015, 8:19 PM EDT

    Tampa Bay Lightning v Montreal Canadiens - Game Two Getty Images

    This might lead to Jonathan Drouin playing in Game 3.

  7. Video: Stamkos ends goal drought in style

    May 3, 2015, 7:38 PM EDT

    Stamkos goal

    How far can the Lightning go if he gets hot?

  8. Video: Habs’ penalty trouble costs them early lead

    May 3, 2015, 7:14 PM EDT

    Filppula goal

    Valtteri Filppula snuck one by Carey Price.

  9. Report: Highly sought after BU goalie O’Connor in talks with three teams

    May 3, 2015, 7:00 PM EDT

    Matt O'Connor AP

    At one point 14 squads were believed to be interested in his services.

  10. Canadiens forced to adjust as Desharnais has the flu

    May 3, 2015, 6:19 PM EDT

    David Desharnais Getty Images

    It’s the first time he’s out of the lineup since the start of the 2014-15 campaign.

  11. Cooper: Drouin will play at some point in second round

    May 3, 2015, 5:46 PM EDT

    Jonathan Drouin Getty Images

    Exactly when that will be remains to be seen.

  12. Boudreau: Maroon can be a ‘big force’ for Anaheim

    May 3, 2015, 4:15 PM EDT

    Anaheim Ducks v Winnipeg Jets - Game Three Getty Images

    He’s working nicely with Ryan Getzlaf and Corey Perry.

  13. Good signs for Calgary: Hudler, Ferland take morning skate

    May 3, 2015, 3:00 PM EDT

    Los Angeles Kings v Calgary Flames Getty Images

    Both were at least some risk of missing Game 2.

  14. Smith-Pelly doesn’t want to ‘jinx’ Habs locking down Stamkos

    May 3, 2015, 1:50 PM EDT

    Steven Stamkos, Alexei Emelin AP

    Still zero goals and just three assists for the star sniper.

  15. Haula gets in Wild mix with Fontaine hurt

    May 3, 2015, 12:46 PM EDT

    Dwight King, Erik Haula AP

    Blackhawks fans probably remember him.

  16. Allowing scoring bursts is not how Blackhawks ‘want to play’

    May 3, 2015, 11:55 AM EDT

    Minnesota Wild v Chicago Blackhawks - Game One Getty Images

    Brandon Saad: “We have to regroup, refocus and get the job done.”

  17. Caps add some depth by recalling Schmidt

    May 3, 2015, 10:46 AM EDT

    Alexander Steen, Nate Schmidt AP

    It’s unclear if this is injury-related.

Featured video

Stanley Cup playoff Round 2 preview
Top 10 NHL Player Searches
  1. M. Zuccarello (3062)
  2. M. Giordano (2074)
  3. C. Price (1925)
  4. N. Kronwall (1779)
  5. K. Letang (1733)
  1. A. Ovechkin (1569)
  2. J. Hudler (1542)
  3. N. Beaulieu (1529)
  4. L. Bouma (1482)
  5. R. Lehner (1451)