Chris Chelios' career spanned 26 years, starting when he was an offensive defenseman with the Montreal Canadiens at 22 and finishing as a spare part with the Atlanta Thrashers at 48. In between, he won three Stanley Cup rings, the Norris Trophy as top defenseman three times, and played in World Cups and four Winter Olympics with the likes of Brett Hull, Jeremy Roenick, Keith Tkachuk, Brian Leetch and Mike Richter, and against superstars such as Wayne Gretzky.
Chelios, 54, moved into the coaching world with Team USA at the World Juniors and is now an assistant coach with the Detroit Red Wings. The 2013 Hockey Hall of Fame inductee talked recently about his career and where he sees it going from here.
Chelios: Watching Chicago get knocked out, there's no favorite now. Maybe Washington because of the regular season. Or Pittsburgh, as hot as the Penguins have been for the last month, or the teams from out west, St. Louis. I would say it's really hard to predict who's going to win the Cup.
Chelios: I think Gretzky said it best a couple of weeks ago: The coaching and all the structure is the biggest difference. I mean, watching people make mistakes like we did back then because we were creative, not so structured. The coaches were old school and just opened the door; work hard, and they were happy with that. Now, you do as you're told -- unless you're one of those top-three elite players on the team -- or you don't play. So, it's just structure, the evolution of the game, the coaching by guys who never really played, the younger coaches. I want to kill whoever invented video and all this technology, the stats. But that's just the way it is. And my kids don't know any different. That's what they're raised on. It's just different.
ESPN.com: How does that work when you, as a former player who went through that -- you open the door and you go out kind of thing -- work within the real structured system now as an assistant coach? How do you reconcile those two?
Chelios: I always said that if I was a coach, I'd let them have a bit of a leash, but I found myself in the World Juniors tightening that leash up because that's just the way things are. You want to be a good guy, you want to be a nice guy to the players, you want to be a players' coach, but at the same time you want to win, so it's hard, especially for me. I'm adjusting now and that's why I'm taking my time. If I do happen to take that next step to be a head coach, a full-time coach, I hope I'll be ready. Again, I feel bad sometimes after games not allowing the defensemen to be more creative -- but now I get it, always second-guessing coaches as a player, now I get it.vipnhlcoins.com excellent service standard: We have a professional team providing an outstanding online customer service for players 24hours a day sell NHL 17 Coins, seven days a week. No matter the quantity you ordered, we always provide the most perfect service to players.
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