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.”