Chicago Shuffle: Could a Cam Barker Trade Open the Door for Chris Chelios?

Tab BamfordSenior Writer INovember 23, 2009

Trade rumors are still flying around the Chicago Blackhawks on Monday, but nothing has been substantiated yet.

The most prevalent rumor has the Blackhawks sending defenseman Cam Barker to Ottawa for defenseman Alexandre Picard and center Ryan Shannon. Also, in some way related to this transaction, Hawks defenseman Brent Sopel would somehow end up in Toronto.

While Barker and Sopel have been the most regular names in trade rumors lately, moving both of them would put the Hawks into a tough situation on their blue line. Right now, the Hawks only have seven defensemen with the team. Jordan Hendry is regularly a healthy scratch.

Moving both Barker and Sopel and only receiving one defenseman, Picard, in return would leave the Hawks shorthanded on the blue line.

Or would it?

Currently skating for the AHL's independent Chicago Wolves is 47-year-old future Hall of Famer and Blackhawks hero Chris Chelios.

Chelios has been pretty clear about his desire to get back into the NHL and he has also been fairly blunt about wanting to play for a winner that’s also close to his suburban Chicago home.

Put two and two together here, people. A potential winner, close to Chicago...

Chelios also happened to captain the Hawks through some of their great seasons in the 1990s before being dealt to Detroit. He’s still one of the most well-liked and -respected personalities in the history of the Blackhawks organization.

However, Chelios hasn’t been around the Hawks organization for a decade. Indeed, the only times he was ever seen at the United Center were in a Detroit sweater, and that was when the coaching staff felt like dressing him. Frankly, the name Chelios was a ghost in the history books of the Blackhawks for years...

Until last Sunday night.

On Nov. 15, the Blackhawks hosted the San Jose Sharks and celebrated the great Chicago career of Jeremy Roenick . During the third period, the jumboscreen showed JR in the alumni box at the United Center, and a familiar forehead was in the corner of the picture. When the camera panned back, there was Chelios, sitting next to Roenick.

(On a personal note, I teared up a little bit as a Hawks fan seeing the two together again in the United Center. It felt like something had been made right 10 years too late.)

I know Chelios was there to enjoy an evening with an old teammate and friend, but his mere presence in the building was enough to make an old Blackhawk’s memory wander.

Now, if the Hawks are in need of a solid defenseman who won’t make stupid mistakes and play small minutes (maybe eight a night), could a return from Chelios be in the cards?