While he probably won’t fetch coffee or fix the copier, 48-year-old Chris Chelios seems like he’ll go from aged defenseman to over-the-hill intern with with the Detroit Red Wings. Helene St. James of the Detroit Free Press has the story.
“I don’t have a title for him, but he’s going to do a little player development,” general manager Ken Holland said. “After ’09 when I told him we weren’t going to re-sign him, I told him to keep in touch. He called me in May and told me he was going to take me up on my offer.”
“He can really help us in player development and as an ambassador,” Holland said. “(Coach) Mike Babcock has told me there’ll be times during the year he’ll lean on him. To some degree, it’ll be an internship for Cheli.”
Good for “Cheli,”and the Red Wings organization, then.
It’s often difficult for players to move on after retirement, especially guys who clearly couldn’t let go like Chelios. Who knows how much he’ll be able to pass along; if Wayne Gretzky’s shortcomings as a coach taught us anything, it’s that a great player doesn’t necessarily make a great coach. But judging from his career-long commitment to fitness and the game in general, he probably won’t lack for passion.