When Chris Chelios announced his retirement before the start of the season, a lot of people really thought that he was done with hockey. To those people we can’t help but have a big laugh at your expense because the new Red Wings executive adviser to the general manager is apparently snooping around at the possibility of giving it one more go.
No, seriously there’s a team with interest in the 48 year-old defenseman another chance at playing but it’s not a team in the NHL. Turns out that there’s a team in Russia’s Kontinental Hockey League that wouldn’t mind having Chelios suit up for them.
The three-time Norris trophy winner confirmed to TSN on Friday that he was in negotiations with KHL club Vityaz after Russian-based website SovSports reported Thursday that Chelios’ agent, Tom Reich, had contacted Vityaz general manager and former NHL player Alex Zhamnov to let him know that his services were available.
If the name Vityaz rings a bell with you it’s because they were the team that had an all-out benches emptying brawl with Jaromir Jagr’s team, Avangard Omsk, just last January that ended their game after four minutes. Former NHL luminaries Chris Simon and Danny Markov play for Vityaz and Markov is a former Red Wings teammate of Chelios. The big question here is, is Chelios interested in playing in Russia?
While Chelios acknowledged that the two sides are talking, he admitted that at the age of 48 a signing was “not likely to happen.”
Being an executive with the Red Wings is a pretty cushy job and sure beats moving to Russia for a few months to play hockey in a league that’s not quite as exciting as the NHL. Chelios spent most of last season playing for the Chicago Wolves in the AHL and even played a handful of games for their parent club in Atlanta.
Still, you have to wonder how long Gordie Howe would’ve played for if he had the KHL to run to. Say, Gordie could still give it a go couldn’t he? How about a Chelios-Howe package deal? Let’s make this happen.