Monday, June 22, 2009

So Long, Cheli...

So no more Chris Chelios. I have to say that even though I'm not remotely surprised, I'm a little torn about this. On a personal level, I'm much more likely to survive the next season now that my blood pressure won't be spiking every time he sets foot on the ice. On the other hand, I have a lot of respect for the guy, and I think he's one of the last great "old school" players out there. Every time I screamed, "Chellllliiiiiiiiiiii!!!" at the TV during his playoff appearances this year, there was a little voice in the back of my head that was telling me that I should be nicer to him. I would never dream of apologizing for my words or actions during the heat of a playoff game, but sometimes I did feel a little bad. I certainly hope he ends up somewhere next season. Guys like Cheli deserve to go out on their own terms. I wouldn't be particularly surprised if he ends up as the 6th or 7th man on a young team that needs a mentor for their D-men. He did a pretty good job working with Kronwall and Jiri Fischer back in the day.

Seriously, one of the highlights of my high school days was when his son played travel baseball in the same league as my little brother. I got to meet him at games a few times, and he was just a straight-up nice guy. He actually reminded me of my dad a little bit. The last time I saw him was at the end of the second round in the '02 playoffs. He was listening to the Colorado-San Jose Game 7 on a Walkman (yeah, an old-school Walkman. In 2002.) waiting to see who the Wings would be facing. He was sitting in his son's dugout and someone asked him who he'd rather face. He said, "San Jose," without any hesitation. I remember finding it funny because earlier I had read the standard, "we don't care who we play, blah, blah, blah," quote from him in the newspaper (Quick nostalgia moment: remember when we used to get papers in Detroit?).

So anyway, I really do hope he ends up somewhere. I wouldn't even care if that somewhere was Chicago. Maybe then his mom could get rid of that god-awful franken-jersey she was wearing during the playoffs.

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