The Detroit Red Wings are one victory away from capturing their second straight Stanley Cup, and we all know it’s their immense depth and mix of young and old that makes them so successful as a team.
But does the end of yet another Stanley Cup run, win or lose, mark the end of Chris Chelios’ 25-season NHL career, over which he's scored 185 goals and 948 points?
Maybe it should.
What else does the guy have to prove? He’s won three Stanley Cups, three Norris Trophies, he’s played in the Olympics and been the U.S team's captain, played in 11 All-Star games and his most impressive feat, he is playing at the age of 46.
I know that Chelios once said his goal is to play until he’s 50, but is he still able to keep up? Between being a healthy scratch and being injured this past season Chelios basically fell out of the Wings line-up and only played in 28 games all season, tallying 0 points.
Chelios becomes an unrestricted free agent this July and any Detroit fan has to wonder if it’s in the organizations best interest to pay Chelios the $750,000 that he’s making now, next season. Even when Chelios has dressed there are certain games where he sees no more then four minutes of ice time.
In no way am I trying to bash Chelios. Any player who can stay in the physical condition he’s in and play for this long deserves to be applauded, but it has gotten to the point where his age and the speed of the game have caught up to him. This makes sense considering some of the teams he’s playing against have players who could be Chelios’ son.
He’s even got a year up on Red Wings' head coach Mike Babcock.
One of my biggest pet peeves as a fan is to watch great players play to the point where they can no longer compete at a high level.
Chris Chelios is a future Hall of Famer and one of the best defensemen of our era. If the Wings can pull off a victory on Tuesday or Friday, what better way to end your career:
Hoisting the Stanley Cup.
Just don’t break it like you’ve done before.
Check out Dustin's blog at www.dustinsdleague.com.