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Thrashers Recall Defenseman Chris Chelios from Chicago Wolves (AHL)

ATLANTA, Ga. – After losing three games in a row and dropping down to 10th place in the Eastern Conference, the NHL Chris Chelios PhotoAtlanta Thrashers have recalled defenseman Chris Chelios from the Chicago Wolves of the American Hockey League in an attempt to spark the team and bring veteran leadership to a young core of players at a critical time of the season.

Executive VP and GM Don Waddell hopes Chelios can bring stability to and inspire his young team.

“Chris has been an outstanding leader and mentor for our young players in Chicago and his level of play has made him deserving of this opportunity,” said Waddell. “He’s a tremendous competitor who strengthens our group of defensemen and instantly adds a veteran presence to our locker room.”

Originally drafted by the Montreal Canadiens in the second round, 40th overall, of the 1981 NHL Entry Draft, Chelios, 48, has appeared in 46 games with the Chicago Wolves of the American Hockey League this season, recording 22 points (five goals, 17 assists) while ranking fourth in the league with a plus-34 rating.

The Chicago, Ill., native has registered 948 points (185 goals, 763 assists) and 2,891 penalty minutes in 1,644 career NHL games with the Detroit Red Wings, Chicago Blackhawks and Montreal Canadiens.

In a NHL-record 266 career Stanley Cup Playoff games, Chelios has collected 144 points (31 goals, 113 assists) while capturing the Stanley Cup three times, once with Montreal (1986) and twice with Detroit (2002 and 2008).

In his 25-year NHL career, Chelios ranks fourth in games played, eighth in all-time assists by a defenseman, and ranks 10th among defensemen in points. Among American-born players, he ranks first in games played, second in plus/minus (plus-352) , and third in points by a defenseman.

The 6-0, 190-pound defenseman has earned the Norris Trophy as the NHL’s top defenseman three times (1989, 1993, 1996), has been named to the NHL’s First All-Star Team five times (1989, 1993, 1995, 1996, 2002), and has participated in 11 NHL All-Star Games.

Chelios has represented the United States in international competition 12 times, and served as team captain at the 1998, 2002 and 2006 Winter Olympics. He led the U.S. to a Silver Medal at the 2002 Games in Salt Lake City and also won a Gold Medal at the 1996 World Cup of Hockey.

He has also appeared in the 1984 Winter Olympics, the 1984, 1987, 1991 Canada Cup, the 1982 IIHF World Junior Championship and captured the 1983 NCAA Men’s Hockey Championship with the University of Wisconsin.

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