Chris Chelios’ perfect answer to “What team did you identify most with?”
At the end of a long professional sports career, a common question asked of a retiring athlete is “Which team did you like playing for the most?”, or some such variation.
Defenseman Chris Chelios, a Chicago, Ill. native who enjoyed a superbly successful NHL career that spanned 27 years, played for the Montreal Canadiens (1983-90), the Chicago Blackhawks (1990-99), the Detroit Red Wings (1999-2009), and the Atlanta Thrashers (2009-10). He was a second-round draft pick of the Canadiens back in 1981 (40th overall).
So, of those four teams, across 26 NHL seasons, which was his favorite? Well, none. His answer was absolutely perfect. From Chris Kuc, Chicago Tribune writer:
Former #Blackhawks defenseman Chris Chelios when asked which team he most identifies with from his career: “USA.”
— Chris Kuc (@ChrisKuc) July 9, 2013
Arguably one of the greatest American defensemen to ever play in the NHL, Chelios holds the record for most games played by a defenseman (1,651, which is also fifth-best in NHL history), and is second only to Phil Housley in regular season points and postseason points. He played on four US Olympic Hockey teams (1984, 1998, 2002, 2006), winning silver in 2002.
Chelios was voted to the Hockey Hall of Fame in 2013.