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Chelios #24

A Great Defensemen. One of those Players Opposing Fans/Players love to hate.

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Chelios makes Wings go

DETROIT--Steve Yzerman returned to the Red Wings' lineup amid much fanfare. It was justified because he is the poster boy of what is right with the Wings.

But the most important returnee is defenseman Chris Chelios. The Wings will win or lose the Stanley Cup based on defense. Chelios is the crusty old veteran who will make a bigger impact than Yzerman.

That isn't the popular thing to say around here because Yzerman is the captain and Chelios was the guy we loved to hate as a member of the Chicago Blackhawks. But the truth isn't always popular.

Although Chelios missed a few games because of an injured right knee, did you notice the Wings' surge began when he returned to the lineup?


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A Norris Trophy winner, Stanley Cup champion and perennial all-star, Chelios possesses all of the skills of a prototypical defenseman. He moves the puck smartly in his own end, hits hard and sparks offensive rushes. The Montreal Canadiens selected Chelios in the second round (40th overall) in the 1981 Entry Draft. Chelios played six full seasons (1983-1990) with the Canadiens, winning a Stanley Cup in 1986. He also won a Norris Trophy with Montreal in 1989, a season in which he posted 73 points and a plus-35 rating. He was dealt to the Chicago Blackhawks before the 1990-91 season and went on to twice win the Norris Trophy. His first Norris with the Blackhawks came in 1994, when he scored 60 points and finished with a plus-12 rating. His second, in 1996, came after a 72-point season and a plus-25 rating. The Blackhawks traded Chelios to the Detroit Red Wings in 1999, and he helped them capture the Stanley Cup in 2002. Chelios also earned a sliver medal at the 2002 Olympics with Team USA.