Tag Archive | "chicago blackhawks"

Blackhawks ‘fire’ Niemi, sign Turco


After posting a 26-7-4 record and 2.25 GAA in the regular season then taking home Lord Stanley in hockey’s second season, goalie Antii Niemi has been ‘fired’ by the Chicago Blackhawks and in the same swoop replaced by the aging Marty Turco.

Niemi crime?

Demanding and receiving 3rd party confirmation that he should be paid more money than his $800,000 contract called for was enough to make Chicago look the over way. “2.75 million dollars? We thank you for your services with the team.  Mr. Turco, please come right in! We have your 1.3 million waiting for you.”  

Has a Stanley Cup Champion ever had such a dramatic makeover going into the next year as the Chicago Blackhawks are having this year, and if so, what does that say about the current salary cap? Heading into that Niemi arbitration hearing, the Blackhawks had already lost Ben Eager, Dustin Byfuglien, Brett Sopel, Kris Versteeg, Andrew Ladd, John Madden and Adam Burris to free agency or trades. Walking away from Niemi makes 8 players off last year’s winning roster.  

That still wasn’t enough number crunching for the Blackhawks, and while most GM’s of Stanley Cup winners need only point out their most recent work, some questions do need to be raised for Blackhawks General Manager Stan Bowman.  

You certainly have to pay for greatness, and the Blackhawks made a real commitment to two of the brightest stars in the league, Patrick Kane and Jonathan Toews who both will make $6.3 million this year.

Surprisingly though, neither Toews nor Kane are Chicago’s highest paid player, and that may be why the team found themselves in the situation they are in.  When you think of elite NHL defenders, the name Brian Campbell probably doesn’t make the list. Sure he’s a nice player, but eight years and $56.8 million? That averages out to $7.1 million a year, when Campbell at best deserves maybe half that.

$ 7.1 million is Zdeno Chara money, it’s more than Nicklas Lindstrom is making, Campbell deserves to be making Brad Stuart money, ($3.75 million a year) but it’s fair to say at his current salary, he might be the one player that prevents the Blackhawks from repeating this year, no matter how well he plays.

And sure, most teams have at least one deal that sticks out like a sore thumb. Tim Thomas is getting $5 million this year from the Boston Bruins not to play, and for a guy who never scored more than 22 goals in a year, Shawn Horcoff far away in Edmonton is somehow making $6.5 million this year.

In the case of Boston though, Thomas’s contract hasn’t killed them, and to be fair, neither did Campbell’s. Heck the Blackhawks won a Stanley Cup with him, you can’t do much better than that! But when you combine that deal with the other bad deal that the Blackhawks had in place with goaltender Christobal Huet making $5.75 million a year, it becomes clear that the Blackhawks needed to revise the script even after their winning year.

In that sense, signing the still very talented Marty Turco to a one year $1.3 million deal is actually a step in the right direction.   

Used with permission of the author.

Based in Washington, D.C. Michael Hoffman has covered D.C. sports for numerous publications and is the Washington Capitals columnist for Examiner.com. Hoffman is also an NHL contributor to Sports Climax. 

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Blackhawks’ Niemi goes to arbitration, Ladd signs


There were expected to be two high-profile NHL arbitration cases on Thursday but one of those players signed a deal shortly before his meeting.

While the Atlanta Thrashers were inking forward Andrew Ladd, the Chicago Blackhawks weren’t as fortunate and will be biting their nails to the bone while they await an answer that will come on Saturday concerning how large a salary bump goaltender Antti Niemi will be awarded.

Niemi, who led the Blackhawks to their first Stanley Cup championship in 49 years, and the team sat through an arbitration hearing Thursday morning, a hearing that is expected to cause Chicago GM Stan Bowman more salary cap headaches.

Chicago GM Stan Bowman said after Saturday’s ruling comes down, his team will have 48 hours to accept the increased salary figure, trade the goalie with the new salary number or just let Niemi go entirely as a free agent.

After winning the cup, Niemi is expected to walk away with a contract near or over the $2 miilion mark after making just $800,000 last season.

“To be simplistic it’s going to depend on what the number is,” Bowman said. “Basically, our cap situation is tight, as is probably well documented. That will drive the boat. We have plans mapped out, strategies based on how to go, but it’s hard to speculate on any of that.”

While Chicago anticipates the outcome of their situation with Niemi, the Thrashers can relax after re-signing their restricted free agent forward Ladd to a one-year deal to avoid the arbitration sit-down.

Ladd, 24, appeared in all 82 games for the Chicago Blackhawks last season, posting 38 points (17 goals, 21 assists).  He registered a career-high in goals (17), ranked third on the club in even-strength goals and was eighth in points.  Ladd earned his first career NHL hat trick on March 7 vs. Detroit and added six points (three goals, three assists) in 19 Stanley Cup Playoff games, while helping the Blackhawks capture the 2010 Stanley Cup Championship.

The 6-2, 200-pound left wing has registered 149 points (63 goals, 86 assists) in 321 career games with Chicago and Carolina and brings 53 games of experience to the Thrashers young roster. In those 53 playoff games, Ladd has tallied 15 points (eight goals, seven assists) and been on two championship teams, the 2006 Hurricanes and last year’s Blackhawks.

Ladd was originally selected by Carolina in the first round, fourth overall, of the 2004 NHL Entry Draft.

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Ben Eager signs one-year deal with Atlanta


Another NHL arbitration was avoided when the Atlanta Thrashers agreed to a contract with restricted free agent forward Ben Eager.

Eager, 26, appeared in 60 games with the Chicago Blackhawks last season, earning 16 points (seven goals, nine assists) and a team-leading 120 penalty minutes and added one goal and two assists in 18 Stanley Cup Playoff games in Chicago’s journey to win the championship.

The Ottawa, Ontario native has carrers numbers that include (27 goals, 25 assists, 52 points) and 621 penalty minutes in 255 career NHL games with Chicago and Philadelphia.  Eager has also posted five points (two goals, three assists) in 37 Stanley Cup Playoff games with the Blackhawks and Flyers. 

The 6-2, 230-pound left wing tallied 35 points (13 goals, 22 assists) and 509 penalty minutes in 123 career AHL games with the Philadelphia Phantoms from 2003 to 2007.  He collected three points (one goal, two assists) in 19 AHL playoff games and helped the Phantoms capture the 2005 Calder Cup Championship.

Prior to his professional career, Eager recorded 139 points (59 goals, 80 assists) in 243 career Ontario Hockey League games with the Oshawa Generals from 2000 to 2004.  He also tallied four points (one goal, three assists) for Team Canada at the 2002 Under-18 World Junior Championship.

Eager was originally selected by the Phoenix Coyotes in the first round, 23rd overall, of the 2002 NHL Entry Draft.

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Thrashers name John Torchetti associate coach


ATLANTA, GA. – The Atlanta Thrashers have named John Torchetti as the team’s associate coach, according to General Manager Rick Dudley and Head Coach Craig Ramsay.

Torchetti, 45, joins the Thrashers with more than 26 years of professional hockey experience as a player, coach and manager. His NHL coaching resume includes stops in Tampa Bay (1999-00 to 2000-01), Florida (2002-03 to 2003-04), Los Angeles (2005-06) and Chicago (2007-08 to 2009-10). The Thrashers will mark the fourth NHL team which Torchetti and Dudley have worked together.

“I’ve known John for several years and he is a highly-talented and extremely knowledgeable individual,” said Dudley. “He is an excellent coach who will strengthen Craig’s staff and we’re fortunate to have him as part of our organization.”

Most recently Torchetti served as an assistant coach for the Chicago Blackhawks, a position he held since the start of the 2007-08 season. During his time in Chicago, Torchetti helped the team improve in wins and points each season, reaching the Western Conference Finals in 2008-09 and capturing the 2010 Stanley Cup.

“John is a dedicated individual who will be an invaluable resource to me and a significant asset for our players,” said Ramsay. “His strengths compliment mine and match up well with what we will be striving to accomplish.”

The Boston, Mass., native has served as an interim head coach in the NHL on two occasions; with the Florida Panthers in 2003-04, where he posted a 10-12-4-1 record in 27 games, and with the Los Angeles Kings in 2005-06, earning a 5-7-0 record in the final 12 games of the season.

Torchetti served as head coach for the San Antonio Iguanas of the Central Hockey League (1994-95 to 1995-96), the Fort Wayne Komets of the International Hockey League (1996-97 to 1997-98), the San Antonio Rampage of the American Hockey League (2002-03) and the Moncton Wildcats of the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League (2006-07). He was twice named Coach of the Year, first with San Antonio in 1994-95, then with Fort Wayne in 1997-98.

Torchetti also spent time as assistant general manager with the San Antonio Dragons (IHL) during the 1996-97 season and as general manager of the Detroit Vipers (IHL) in 1998-99, succeeding Dudley in that position. During his tenure in Detroit, the Vipers posted a 50-12-11 record and captured the IHL’s Eastern Conference Championship.

His professional playing career spanned seven seasons in the Atlantic Coast Hockey League, the All-American Hockey League, the ECHL and the AHL. In total, Torchetti earned 532 points (258 goals, 274 assists) in 359 career games with the Carolina Thunderbirds (ACHL, AAHL, ECHL), Virginia Lancers (ACHL), Binghamton Whalers (AHL) and Winston-Salem Thunderbirds (ECHL) from 1984-85 to 1990-91. Prior to his professional career, Torchetti had a brief stint with the Plattsburgh Pioneers of the QMJHL during the 1984-85 season, posting five points (two goals, three assists) in eight games.

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Detroit sports legend Bob Probert dies


Detroit lost another sports legend yesterday when NHL All-Star forward and one of the league’s top enforcers, Bob Probert, died at the age of 45. Probert apparently suffered a heart attack after complaining of chest pains while out boating.

Probert, who was drafted by the Wings in the third round (46th overall) in 1983 skated in Detroit from 1985-94 before making his way to the Chicago Blackhawks.

The rugged left winger was 6-ft-3-in. and packed one of the hardest punches in the history of the game. But along with his ability to go toe-to-toe with the best of them, Probert also brought enough skill to his game to make the All-Star in 1988, a year he tallied 29 goals and 62 points although he spent 398 minutes in the penalty box.

His career stats are impressive considering his role on the teams too. His career stats include 384 points (163 goals, 221 assists) in 935 regular-season games and 3,300 penalty minutes, 5th most in NHL history.

Probert’s career hit more than a few bumps in the road though. With a laundry-list of arrests and violations over the years, his worst run-in with law officials landed him in federal prison for a three-month period when he was caught trying to smuggle cocaine over the U.S. and Canadian border. The arrest also landed him a one-year suspension from the NHL.

Back to his time on the ice, Probert, in 1988 the winger broke Mr. Hockey Gordie Howe’s record of 20 playoff point in a season when he tallied 21.

Of all of his brawls, the most famous may be his duels with friend andformer teammate Joey Kocur and his minute and a half slugfest he got into with Pittsburgh Penguin player Marty McSorley. You can see that fight here.

Mr. Probert, R.I.P. along with two other Detroit sports’ icons who have been lost recently, Mark “The Bird” Fidrych and Ernie Harwell.

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Byfuglien traded to Thrashers in multi-player deal


After winning the Stanley Cup after a 49-year drought, the Chicago Blackhawks are cleaning house and as expected are dumping some overhead to free up cap space. An announcement came yesterday that confirmed the winner of the Dustin Byfuglien sweepstakes are the Atlanta Thrashers.

The Thrashers acquired Byfuglien, Ben Eager and Akim Aliu, along with defenseman Brent Sopel from the Chicago Blackhawks for forwards Marty Reasoner, Joey Crabb and Jeremy Morin, as well as a first-round choice (24th overall) and a second-round choice (54th overall) in the 2010 NHL Entry Draft, according to General Manager Rick Dudley.

“This deal immediately improves our hockey club and adds valuable size, speed and Stanley Cup experience to our roster,” said Dudley. “Dustin Byfuglien is a prototypical power forward and another young, rising star we are adding to our roster. With Brent Sopel and Ben Eager we also get a defensive-minded defenseman who is one of the better penalty killers in the league, and a tough, checking line forward who is an outstanding forchecker. Akim Aliu joins our stable of talented prospects.”

Byfuglien, 25, recorded 16 points (11 goals, five assists) in 22 post-season games while helping lead the Blackhawks to the 2010 Stanley Cup Championship.  The 6-4, 255-pound left wing led the NHL in post-season game-winning tallies (five), tied for the league lead in power-play goals (five), and was tied for third in the league and shared the team lead in overall goals.  Byfuglien posted 34 points (17 goals, 17 assists) while appearing in all 82 regular-season games with Chicago.

The Minneapolis, Minn., native has earned 109 points (55 goals, 54 assists) in 260 career NHL games with the Blackhawks  and has added 25 points (14 goals, 11 assists) in 39 Stanley Cup Playoff games.  Byfuglien, who was selected by the Blackhawks in the eighth round (245th overall) of the 2003 NHL Entry Draft, also posted 74 points (26 goals, 48 assists) in 124 career American Hockey League games with Norfolk and Rockford.

Prior to his professional career, Byfuglien played four seasons of junior hockey from 2001 to 2005 with Brandon and Prince George of the Western Hockey League, tallying 142 points (48 goals, 94 assists) in 189 games.

Eager, 26, appeared in 60 games with Chicago last season, earning 16 points (seven goals, nine assists) and a team-leading 120 penalty minutes.  He added three points (one goal, two assists) in 18 post-season contests.

The Ottawa, Ontario, native has earned 52 points (27 goals, 25 assists) and 621 penalty minutes in 255 career NHL games with Chicago and Philadelphia.  Eager has also posted five points (two goals, three assists) in 37 Stanley Cup Playoff games with the Blackhawks and Flyers.  The 6-2, 230-pound left wing tallied 35 points (13 goals, 22 assists) and 509 penalty minutes in 123 career AHL games with the Philadelphia Phantoms.  He collected three points (one goal, two assists) in 19 AHL playoff games and helped the Phantoms capture the 2004-05 Calder Cup Championship.

Eager, who was originally selected by the Phoenix Coyotes in the first round (23rd overall) of the 2002 NHL Entry Draft, recorded 139 points (59 goals, 80 assists) in 243 career Ontario Hockey League games with the Oshawa Generals from 2000 to 2004.  He also tallied four points (one goal, three assists) for Team Canada at the 2002 Under-18 World Junior Championship.

Sopel, 33, appeared in 73 regular-season games for the Blackhawks last season, posting eight points (one goal, seven assists).  The 6-1, 200-pound defenseman added six points (one goal, five assists) in 22 Stanley Cup Playoff games.  His plus-seven rating in the playoffs tied for fifth on the Blackhawks and 11th in the NHL.

The Calgary, Alberta, native has earned 211 points (42 goals, 169 assists) in 588 career NHL games with Vancouver, the NY Islanders, Los Angeles and Chicago.  He also posted 105 points (26 goals, 79 assists) in 182 games with the AHL’s Syracuse Crunch and tallied one assist in four games with Kansas City of the now-defunct International Hockey League.

Prior to his professional career, Sopel collected 155 points (35 goals, 120 assists) in 207 games with Saskatoon and Swift Current of Western Hockey League from 1993 to 1997.  He was originally selected by Vancouver in the sixth round, 144th overall, of the 1995 NHL Entry Draft.

Aliu, 21, tallied 17 points (11 goals, six assists) in 48 AHL games last season with the Rockford IceHogs.  He also earned 14 points (five goals, nine assists) in 13 ECHL games with the Toledo Walleye.

The 6-3, 225-pound center has posted 19 points (13 goals, six assists) in 55 career AHL games with Rockford.  Prior to his professional career the Okene, Nigeria, native played four seasons of junior hockey from 2005 to 2009 with Sudbury and London of the Ontario Hockey League, recording 167 points (76 goals, 91 assists) in 205 games.

Aliu was selected by Chicago in the second round, 56th overall, of the 2007 NHL Entry Draft.

Reasoner, 33, appeared in 80 games for the Thrashers last season, tallying 17 points (four goals, 13 assists).  The 6-1, 205-pound center tallied 47 points (18 goals, 29 assists) in 159 games after signing with the Thrashers as a free agent prior to the 2008-09 season.

The Honeoye Falls, N.Y., native has earned 223 points (82 goals, 141 assists) in 624 career NHL games with  St. Louis, Edmonton, Boston and Atlanta.  He also posted eight points (two goals, six assists) in 23 career Stanley Cup Playoff games with St. Louis and Edmonton.

Reasoner, who was selected by St. Louis in the first round (14th overall) of the 1996 NHL Entry Draft, appeared in 124 AHL games with the Worcester IceCats and Hamilton Bulldogs, tallying 127 points (57 goals, 70 assists). In addition, Reasoner has represented the United States five times in International Competition, including the IIHF World Championships (2002, 2003, 2006) and the IIHF World Junior Championship (1996 and 1997).

Prior to his professional career, Reasoner played three years for Boston College, collecting 162 points (69 goals, 93 assists) in 111 games.

Crabb, 27, recorded 53 points (24 goals, 29 assists) in 79 games last season with the Chicago Wolves of the AHL.  He ranked third on the team in goals and was tied for fourth in points.  The 6-1, 190-pound right wing added 11 points (six goals, five assists) in 14 Calder Cup Playoff games.

The Anchorage, Alaska, native has posted nine points (four goals, five assists) in 20 career NHL games with the Thrashers and has 139 points (55 goals, 84 assists) in 256 career AHL games with Chicago.

Crabb was originally selected by the NY Rangers in the seventh round, 226th overall, of the 2002 NHL Entry Draft.

Morin, 19, registered 83 points (47 goals, 36 assists) in 58 games with the Kitchener Rangers last season, his first in the OHL.  The 6-1, 190-pound left wing ranked fourth in the OHL and second on the team in goals, and was third on his team in points.  He added 21 points (12 goals, nine assists) in 20 OHL post-season games.  The Auburn, N.Y., native also represented the United States at the 2010 IIHF World Junior Championship, recording seven points (two goals, five assists) in seven games while helping his team to the Gold Medal.

Morin was selected by the Thrashers in the second round, 45th overall, of the 2009 NHL Entry Draft.

Additionally, the Thrashers will send two choices in the 2010 Entry Draft to the Blackhawks, including a first-round choice (24th overall) and a second-round selection (54th overall).

MORE NHL: After 49-year drought, Blackhawks win Stanley Cup

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Thrashers Fire Coach Anderson and Promote Dudley & Waddell


Below is the press release by the Atlanta Thrashers explaining the restructuring of their front office that includes firing coach John Anderson and promoting Rick Dudley and Don Waddell.

ATLANTA, GA. – The Atlanta Thrashers have promoted Don Waddell to President and Rick Dudley to General dudleyManager, according to Co-Owner Bruce Levenson. The team also announced that it will not retain Head Coach John Anderson and Assistant Coaches Randy Cunneyworth, Todd Nelson and Steve Weeks.

In his new role, Waddell will focus primarily on all business aspects of the organization, and as General Manager, Dudley will be responsible for hockey operations.

“My role within the company has evolved and grown the last few years, and the owners and I agree that it’s the appropriate time to have Rick assume all hockey-related responsibilities while I shift my primary focus to the business side of the Thrashers,” said Waddell.

“I will be less involved with the team on a daily basis, but will continue to make myself available to Rick and to lend my experience in any way that allows him to succeed and for us to build this club into a perennial contender.”

“Don has been an important part of this organization since its inception and will continue to play a vital role for our franchise as we transition primary control of our hockey operations to Rick, who has had an immediate impact during his first season with us,” said Levenson.

“Rick has played a key role in building highly successful hockey teams, including most recently the Chicago Blackhawks. He has nearly 40 years of experience and is very well-respected in the hockey community for his expertise in evaluating and developing talent. We are confident that he will do an outstanding job of guiding all hockey-related activities as we move forward and build on the young foundation we have in place. We also thank John, Randy, Todd and Steve for their dedication and contributions to the organization during their tenure.”

Dudley joined Atlanta on June 22, 2009 as associate general manger after five years with the Chicago Blackhawks, where he served as the team’s assistant general manager for his final two seasons. He originally joined the Blackhawks in 2004 as a consultant and was named director of player personnel prior to the 2005-06 season.

“We have a lot of important pieces in place, and I look forward to building this organization even further and working closely with Don, the owners and our staff towards achieving our goals,” said Dudley. “I’ve been in this situation before and we will accomplish our objectives. I appreciate Don and the owners giving me this opportunity to build on what has already been put in place.”

Before joining the Blackhawks, Dudley served as the general manager of the Florida Panthers for two seasons (2002-03 to 2003-04), spent two-and-a-half seasons as senior vice president and general manager of the Tampa Bay Lightning (1999-00 to 2001-02) and was general manager of the Ottawa Senators for one year (1998-99).

He is credited with improving each organization he has managed, which includes playing a vital role in building the nucleus of the Lightning’s 2004 Stanley Cup Championship team.

Dudley, 61, was the general manager for the Detroit Vipers of the former International Hockey League for four seasons before joining the Senators. With the Vipers, Dudley led the team to a 200-92-35 record and the 1997 Turner Cup Championship. Overall, as a general manager he has led his teams to the league finals on eight occasions and captured four championships in the American Hockey League, the IHL and the ECHL.

Dudley also has a lengthy and successful record as a head coach in both the NHL and minor leagues, earning a lifetime record of 592-321-105. He spent two-and-a-half seasons as head coach of the Buffalo Sabres from 1989-90 to 1991-92, posting an 85-72-31 record while leading the team to the playoffs on two occasions. During the 2003-04 season, he spent 40 games behind the bench of the Florida Panthers, earning a 13-25-9-3 record.

He has also served as a head coach with the Detroit Vipers (1994-95 to 1995-96), the Phoenix Roadrunners (1993-94), the San Diego Gulls (1992-93) and the Flint Spirits (1986-87 to 1987-88) of the IHL and the New Haven Nighthawks (1988-89) of the AHL and the Carolina Thunderbirds (1982-83 to 1985-86) of the ECHL.

The Toronto, Ontario, native played seven NHL seasons with Buffalo and Winnipeg, recording 174 points (75 goals, 99 assists) in 309 games. He also appeared in 270 World Hockey Association games over four seasons with the Cincinnati Stingers, where he earned 277 points (131 goals, 146 assists) and tallied back-to-back 40-goal seasons from 1975-76 to 1976-77.

After retiring as a player, Dudley became the owner, general manager and head coach of the ECHL’s Carolina Thunderbirds. He also served as the league’s president from 1983-86. Prior to retiring, he was part owner and vice president of the Ontario Hockey League’s Belleville Bulls.

Waddell, 51, was originally named the Thrashers general manager in June 1998 and has become one of the league’s most experienced and respected executives over that time. With 30 years of professional hockey experience as a player, coach and manager, Waddell has guided the Thrashers since its inception and has established an organization that is primed for success now and in the long-term.

Anderson, who was named the team’s fourth head coach on June 20, 2008, earned a 70-75-19 record in 164 games with Atlanta over the last two seasons. During his 15-year head coaching career, Anderson has captured five league championships, most recently guiding the Chicago Wolves to the American Hockey League’s 2008 Calder Cup. He spent 11 seasons with the Wolves, the Thrashers primary minor-league affiliate, earning a 506-283-99 regular season record and a 105-60 post-season record.

The Toronto, Ontario, native played for 12 seasons in the NHL with Toronto, Quebec and Hartford, posting 631 points (282 goals, 349 assists) in 814 career games. He also notched 27 points (nine goals, 18 assists) in 37 career Stanley Cup Playoff games with Toronto and Hartford.

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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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Thrashers Sign Unrestricted Free Agent Defenseman Chris Chelios


An Atlanta Thrashers Media Release contributed to this article.

ATLANTA, Ga. – The Atlanta Thrashers have signed unrestricted free agent defenseman Chris Chelios, according to Executive Vice President and General Manager Don Waddell. Chris Chelios Chicago

Chelios, 48, has appeared in 44 games with the Chicago Wolves of the American Hockey League this season, recording 21 points (five goals, 16 assists) while ranking second in the league with a plus-35 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 and led the U.S. to a Silver Medal at the 2002 Games in Salt Lake City and Gold at the 1996 World Cup of Hockey.

Note: Chelios was originally drafted by the Montreal Canadiens in the second round, 40th overall, of the 1981 NHL Entry Draft.

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NHL star Patrick Kane busted


American Patrick Kane one of the NHL superstars was booked and asked to cheese for a mugshot after he was arrested following an altercation in Buffalo on August 9th that left he and his cousin James Kane accused of assaulting 62-year-old cab driver, Jan Radecki.

The disagreement was said to be related to the 20-year-old Chicago Blackhawks player and the cabbie bickering over 20 cents.

That’s right; a conflict over 20 U.S. pennies or 2.58 Pesos, depending where you’re from, between a multi-million dollar pro athlete and a retirement-aged cabbie.

Kane who is listed to have earned $3.75 million last season is accused of assaulting Radecki after the cabbie told the player he did not have 20 cents change for the fare. Radecki told the Chicago Tribune:

According to a police report, the incident occurred at around 5 a.m. when the Kanes had given the driver $15 for a fare of $13.80. The driver gave them back a dollar, but not the remaining 20 cents.

James Kane then allegedly tore the money from Radecki’s hand and began punching him, the report said. The driver told the Chicago Tribune on Sunday that Patrick Kane also “kept pounding and pounding on me.”

“They broke my glasses, they ripped my clothes … all over 20 cents.”

According to witnesses, the assault left the cabbie with bruises and a pair of broken glasses.

Kane, who joined Sports Climax’ Jocks Behind Bars, was charged with second-degree robbery, a Class C felony, as well as fourth-degree criminal mischief and theft of services, both Class A misdemeanors.

Other NHL players who have cheesed for mugs are Chris Chelios,  Ryan O’Byrne and Tom Kostopoulos.

Our complete collection of classic and recent athletes mugshots can be found in our Mugshot Gallery

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