Former Red Wings defenseman Chris Chelios finally made his retirement official today at the tender age of 48.
Chelios had announced his plans to retire awhile ago, so this was just a formality. He’ll take on a front office job with the Red Wings, which will have multiple responsibilities.
Chelios will serve the organization in a multifaceted role as adviser to hockey operations. He will be another set of eyes giving coach Mike Babcock input after games and will help with player development, specifically mentoring some of the young defensemen in the organization.
Red Wings general manager Ken Holland further elaborated on Chelios' role with the team:
"His role will evolve over the course of the year," Holland said. "He'll be involved in player development. We have some prospects in Grand Rapids that are going to be playing for the Detroit Red Wings down the road. There's no better defenseman to give advice than a guy who spent 27 years in the NHL."
Though Chelios spent the first part of his career with the Chicago Blackhawks, taking a job with the Red Wings makes sense. After moving to the Red Wings at age 37, he helped the team win two Stanley Cup Championships in 2002 and 2008, his first titles since 1985.
Current Wings captain Nicklas Lidstrom thought he'd never see the day that Chelios hung up the skates.
At one point, you thought, 'Gee, he's probably going to play until he's 50,'" Lidstrom said.
"I think it's a great opportunity for him to stay in hockey and stay with the Wings," Lidstrom said. "I think the Wings are going to benefit from it, too. All the little details of playing defense, if you played the position for 27 years in the NHL, you know what you're doing, so I think he's going help a lot./p>