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Former Red Wings Defenseman Chris Chelios Signs with Atlanta...What?!?

Matt Hutter@mahutter12Analyst IMarch 2, 2010

PITTSBURGH - JUNE 09:  Chris Chelios #24 of the Detroit Red Wings against the Pittsburgh Penguins during Game Six of the NHL Stanley Cup Finals at the Mellon Arena on June 9, 2009 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.  (Photo by Jamie Sabau/Getty Images)
Jamie Sabau/Getty Images

Last summer, Chris Chelios made it clear that, though he was soon to be 48 years old, he had every intention of playing in the NHL in 2009-10.

He had no takers in the offseason after being told he would not be back with the Red Wings.

He eventually signed with the AHL's Chicago Wolves and made no secret about his desire to, hopefully, make a homecoming to his former team, the Chicago Blackhawks.

Well, Chelios is now headed back to the NHL, but not with his hometown Blackhawks, but a bird of a different feather, the Atlanta Thrashers.

Yeah, the Atlanta Thrashers.

The move is curious to say the least.

While Chelios is still in outstanding shape and has 21 points and a plus-35 rating in 44 games played with the Wolves, he's not the first veteran NHL player that comes to mind when considering who could help you make a strong push for the playoffs.

Especially when you've just traded your best player.

Still, Atlanta is only two points out of the eighth seed in the East, so GM Don Waddell might be thinking a veteran leader with a string of championships will be sufficient to give his team the extra push they need.

Then again, Waddell isn't widely known as a shrewed and insightful GM.

Chelios is still with the AHL Wolves and will need to clear waivers before coming to Atlanta.

But, if he does, it would be a strange destination for the former Norris Trophy winner to end his career.

Regardless, you've got admire the guy's love for the game. After all, why else would he sign with Atlanta?

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