Chelios skates with AHL Chicago, eyes contract
Veteran defenseman Chris Chelios, 47, expects to sign this week
The Chicago Wolves are the AHL affiliate of the Atlanta Thrashers
Chelios says his ultimate goal is to get back to playing in the NHL
Former NHL star Chris Chelios skated Monday with the minor league Chicago Wolves and said he will probably sign a contract with the team this week.
The 47-year-old Chelios said he wants to help his chances of "getting back in the NHL someday."
"The Wolves gave me a great opportunity," Chelios said after the workout with the American Hockey League Wolves at their suburban training center. "It's going to fun and I intend to have a good time with these guys."
Wolves coach Don Granato expects Chelios to contribute once he puts in some practice time.
"He's been in this business a long time because he's a competitor and he certainly knows what he's doing," said Granato. "He'll acclimate and in fairness to him it takes time, especially not having training camp. But the talent and competitiveness are there."
A veteran of 25 NHL seasons with three different teams, Chelios was the NHL's oldest active player in 2008-09 and last played in the spring as the Red Wings made a run to the Stanley Cup finals.
Chelios, a Chicago native, came up with Montreal in 1984 and was traded to Chicago in 1990. He captained the Blackhawks from 1995 to 1999 and was traded to Detroit in March 1999. His NHL career includes 185 goals and 763 assists for 948 points.
The Wolves are the Atlanta Thrashers' top affiliate but Chelios said he hasn't given much thought about being called up to his fourth NHL team.
"Right now, my thought is getting ready to play here," he said. "I haven't played for a while. Last year I only played 30 games at best. I've got a big challenge to prove to myself and a lot of people that I can still play."
Chelios won three Norris Trophies as the NHL's top defenseman and played on three Stanley Cup winners, one with the Canadiens and two with the Red Wings.
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