Monday, March 31, 2008

Chelios Wants to Play in 2010 Olympics?

1) As many might have read the ageless Chris Chelios is already making plans to play 2 additional NHL seasons so he would be eligible to play in the 2010 Vancouver Olympics. Pictured here is Chris displaying one of his Olympic medals.

2) The 'ageless wonder' who is currently in his 24th season and at 46 years old is by far the oldest player in the league. For those who are mathematically challenged, Chris would be 48 when the Vancouver games are played. The 2010 Games would be the fifth Olympics for Chris Chelios, who played for the U.S. in 1984, 1998, 2002, and 2006.

3) When asked about it the Detroit defensemen said: "If need be, I'm going to be honest, I would love to play in those Olympics," Chelios said "Because I think it's going to be one of the best ever. To have the greatest players in the world and the fact that it's going to be in North America. ... I kind of compare myself to a relief pitcher in baseball where I play a role in penalty kill and defensive situations. Realistically, with the way my minutes are down ... but I thought the same thing prior to the last Olympics (2006) and because of injuries on teammates on Detroit I was given the opportunity to play and I was fortunate enough to be named to the team.

4) Despite his long list of successes in the NHL:

  • three Stanley Cup championships

  • three Norris trophies as the league's top defenceman and

  • five first-team NHL all-star selections

the Chicago-born Chelios takes special pride in the fact that he's witnessed/been a part of first-hand the growth of hockey in the U.S. to where it now ranks as one of the world's hockey powers.
He's played in four Olympics, in 1984 in Sarajevo as a collegian, then in 1998 in Nagano, Japan, 2002 in Salt Lake City and 2006 in Turin, Italy.

5) So how realistic are his chances? Well, we wouldn't count him out, but as in many sports where a player participates at an advanced age, many times the player seems to 'lose it' almost over night. We see it in baseball when a hitter suddenly finds himself no longer able to catch up with a good fastball, or Football player who seems to not be able to recover from those nagging injuries quite so quickly anymore. That said, Chelios has lasted this long not only on his talent, but also his incredible will/desire to perform at his peak. That peak may not be nearly as high as it was when he won his last Norris Trophy in 1996 its still significantly higher than many 1/2 his age. Good luck Chris!


Shmee said...

I did a double take at in 1984 in Sarajevo as a collegian. Pretty unbelievable to imagine that he has been around so long. Good for him if he makes it to the Olympics (and what a great way to go out, no?)


Hey I'm as big a fan of Chris as anyone but it would be a farse if he took a spot from a more deserving kid. It would be nice to see him as maybe an assistant coach. Chris has been a warrior for his whole career, but I'd say his best days are long gone. This should be his last year.

JP said...

Its too bad that bastard Wirtz ran Chelly out of town. This is where he should have stayed. Its too bad we haven't had a real hockey team since he left us. Good luck!

Hooks Orpik said...

Don't forget the 2010 Olympics will be on a NHL sized rink, and not the bigger European surface they previously used, so skating won't be the premium it usually is.

I wouldn't bet against Chelios, he's a warrior and one of the best conditioned athletes there ever was. I would just hope they don't feel an obligation to take him if he's not one of the 7 or 8 best options at the position.

In looking at likely candidates America has good young players, but the defensive depth isn't insurmountable.

I'd think only Rafalski and Komisarek are locks. In two years probably Matt Carle, Keith Ballard, Erik Johnson and Jack Johnson will have established themselves too. That's 6 right there and we haven't even mentioned guys like Matt Niskanen, Tom Gilbert, Matt Greene, Paul Martin, Ryan Suter, Paul Mara, Ryan Whitney and Tom Poti.

It seems like a real up-hill climb for Chelios, but like I said; I wouldn't bet against him.


1) We agree with Vlad and Hooks; It would be great to see Chris out there, but ONLY if he deserves it.

Jibblescribbits said...

Yeah I was thinking of D-men on USA that will probably deserve it before Chelios. Jack Johnson, Erik Johnson (StL), Dustin Byfuglien, JM Liles, Paul Martin, Joe Corvo, and a bunch more IMO.

I mean here's a quick look at points for USA defensemen, Chelios isn't even in the top 30.

He still kills penalties so it's not like he's completely useless, but it seems like a guy like Finger, Keith Ballard, or Tom Guilbert would be better fits, especially in 2 years

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