Hey Chelios, my grandma is single

Jean Lefebvre
December 13 2009 10:26AM

Rumour has it that Chris Chelios recently turned down his former Chicago Blackhawks boss Darryl Sutter and declined an invitation to join the Calgary Flames.

The scuttlebutt comes from Andy Strickland, who has an extremely high batting average and a very low B.S. factor when it comes to this sort of thing. So if we take it for granted this is true, we can only guess at what Sutter had in mind when he gave Chelios, currently playing for the American Hockey League's Chicago Wolves, a ring.

Was the GM looking to add some experience to his blue-line? For that matter, Sutter could have been looking to add a pinch of seasoning to his coaching staff -- Calgary assistants Dave Lowry, Ryan McGill and Jamie McLennan are three, seven and nine years younger than Chelios. Head man Brent Sutter, who was a Chelios teammate before he retired a dozen years ago, is five months the defenceman's junior.

So just how old is Chris Chelios? Well, as of Jan. 25, if you hack off his leg and count the rings, you'll get 48. But let's look at his age another way. Remember Brian Bradley? Drafted by the Flames in 1983. Made his debut in the organization a year later, made the big club two years after that, made a cameo appearance in the 1986 playoffs (the Steve Smith own-goal year), traded to Vancouver (a trade with Vancouver?) with Peter Bakovic (Peter Bakovic?) for Craig Coxe (Craig Coxe?) in 1988, went on to play for Toronto and Tampa Bay and retired a full dozen years ago after a solid if unspectacular 651-game career.

Anyway, that largely forgotten or barely remembered Brian Bradley is almost exactly three years younger than Chelios. Dan Quinn, the Flames' leading scorer 24 seasons ago, is also three years younger than Chelios.

While we're at it, the following ex-Flames from the '80s, many of whom have been out of the NHL for quite a while and some as long as two decades, all have fewer life kilometres on them than Ol' Chuckles Chelios.

  • Doug Gilmour
  • Joe Nieuwendyk
  • Gary Suter
  • Mark Hunter
  • Dana Murzyn
  • Ric Nattress
  • Perry Berezan
  • Serge Pryakhin
  • Shane Churla
  • Paul Ranheim
  • Stu Grimson
  • Mike Vernon
  • Carey Wilson
  • Brett Hull
  • Dale DeGray
  • Kevan Guy
  • Doug Dadswell
  • Richard Kromm
  • Steve Konroyd
  • Gino Cavallini
  • Mark Lamb

Heck, dandy defenceman Paul Reinhart, who played for the Atlanta Flames for cryin' out loud, is only two years older than Chelios.

For that matter, you don't even have to go the full distance on the Kevin Bacon game to connect Chris Chelios to Aurel Joliat. There's only five degrees of separation between Chelios and Joliat, the Hall-of-Famer who was born in 1901 and retired in 1938 -- Chelios was a teammate of Guy Lafleur who was a teammate of Henri Richard who was a teammate of brother Maurice Richard who was a teammate of Hector (Toe) Blake who played with Joliat.

The headline on this entry, by the way, refers to a classic sign once held up by a Flames fan during a visit by Chelios' Red Wings a few years back.

 

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Lefebvre is in that awkward stage of hockey following -- old enough to fondly remember the Cleveland Barons and too set in his ways to accept charity points and games where there's a winner but apparently no loser. As a long-time ink-stained wretch, he's also a firm believer in the old Bobby Knight quote about journalists: "All of us learn to write in second grade, but most of us go on to better things."
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#1 RossCreekNation
December 13 2009, 06:39PM
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Nice piece Jean :-)

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#2 Yolande
December 14 2009, 07:51PM
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Very well written Jean!

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#3 gregori panteleev
December 23 2009, 02:59PM
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nice yarn, jean.

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