US Hockey Hall Of Fame Induction

Chelios sees future as NHL head coach


Chris Chelios can see himself as a bench boss.

That’s what the 50-year-old rearguard told the Detroit News this week, saying that coaching AHL Grand Rapids during the lockout has prepared him for a possible career change.

“I’m having a lot of fun,” Chelios said. “I’m enjoying being with the guys, with Blash [Griffins head coach Jeff Blashill] and the staff. It’s been a real good experience.”

Just two years removed from playing — he retired after playing seven games with Atlanta during the 2009-10 season — Chelios is now serving the Wings as an Adviser to Hockey Operations.

He’s worked in both a scouting capacity and public/community relations but, with the lockout in full effect, he’s now spending more and more time coaching Detroit’s young defense corps in the American league.

Many of the guys Chelios played against during his 26-year career are now head coaches themselves: Dan Bylsma, Joe Sacco, Kevin Dineen, Dave Tippett and Randy Carlyle, to name a few.

Chelios would love to get to the same heights as those coaches (Tippett and Bylsma have each won Jack Adams Awards) but knows he’ll need plenty of experience before getting there.

“One thing I’ve learned is you could be the greatest player of all time, but you really do need experience to coach,” Chelios said. “There’s a lot of stuff to learn, a lot of stuff you learn only through experience.

“It’s just the way it is. I like it. We’ll see.”

Here are the 10 oldest players to play a game this season

Jaromir Jagr
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This isn’t breaking news or anything. We just thought you’d like to know that three of the NHL’s 10 oldest players (who’ve played at least one game this season) are members of the Florida Panthers.

Oh, and the Panthers’ starting goalie? He’s the oldest starter in the league. (Scroll down.)

Here’s the list of skaters, topped by 43-year-old Jaromir Jagr:


Yet another veteran Panther, 36-year-old defenseman Brian Campbell, ranks 17th on the list.

Granted, the above list does not include 39-year-old Patrik Elias (who’s hurt) or 39-year-old Eric Boulton (who just re-signed with the Isles). As soon as those two play, Thornton will get pushed out of the top 10.

Now here’s the list of goalies who’ve started at least one game this season, topped by 36-year-old Roberto Luongo:


For the record, Luongo isn’t the oldest goalie under contract. That would be Minnesota’s Niklas Backstrom, who’s 37.

Related: Can Florida’s old guys hang on while the young guys get better?

Hamburglar (groin) returns, Sens demote O’Connor

Andrew Hammond
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Matt O'Connor‘s time in the Canadian capital was brief, but still noteworthy.

O’Connor, the losing netminder in Sunday’s “Battle of the Backups” against Montreal — Habs No. 2 Mike Condon got the win — has been sent down to AHL Binghamton to pave the way for Andrew Hammond‘s return from a groin injury, per the Sun.

The Hamburglar has been out since the preseason, but his return is earlier than expected.

He was originally supposed to miss the first two weeks, yet now sounds as though he’ll play one of Ottawa’s two games on an upcoming road trip through Columbus and Pittsburgh.

It’s going to be interesting to see if Hammond can replicate the success he had last season, when he came out of nowhere to go 20-1-2 with a 1.79 GAA and .941 save percentage, and finish seventh in Vezina voting.