Former Detroit Red Wings star Chris Chelios has become a part-time coach for the AHL's Grand Rapids Griffins.
During the week, Chelios joins the coaching staff of the AHL's Grand Rapids Griffins, working with the defensemen and the team's penalty killing units. On this weekends, he travels to watch his two sons play for the Michigan State Spartans. And like a collegiate youth, Chelios says he knows what he likes but not exactly what he wants to do:
"I'm still not quite sure what I want to do, as far as management or coaching. But right now I'm leaning in that (coaching) direction."
Griffins head coach Jeff Blashill calls Chelios a "part of our coaching staff" despite the commitment as only a part-time coach. Chelios' experience and teaching has proved to be a great tool for Griffins, primarily in the development of a Red Wings' top prospect, defensemen Brendan Smith:
"He's been my mentor," said Smith, who has worked with Chelios in Grand Rapids and brief stints in Detroit. "He's a student of the game and arguably one of the best defensemen ever. So when he talks, I listen."
Chelios enjoys the flexibility his coaching position allows him and does not plan on changing his current situation, at least not until his kids graduate from Michigan State:
"I like having my own schedule, and the Wings allow me to do that, so the role that I'm in right now is probably the best role for the organization."