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Hockey Hall of Fame set to induct tough defenceman Chris Chelios

Chris Chelios is among the 2013 class of inductees into the Hockey Hall of Fame. (MARTIN...

Chris Chelios is among the 2013 class of inductees into the Hockey Hall of Fame. (MARTIN CHEVALIER/QMI Agency)

LANCE HORNBY, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 9:48 PM ET

Chris Chelios could have stayed in his family's restaurant business in Chicago, maybe with signed photos of famous NHL players on the walls.

Instead, he carved himself a long playing career, second only to that of hockey's famous grandfather Gordie Howe. And like Howe, Chelios didn't last more than 25 years by being Mr. Nice Guy.

"When he came in, he was nasty, dirty and mean," recalled former Chicago teammate Bob McGill. "But he was also a terrific player. You don't win three Norris Trophies, be the best defenceman in the game and play as long as he did, unless you have the passion.

"He set the precedent early in his career: 'I'm not going to back down from you and I don't care who you are'. That's why he had so much respect. The opposition didn't like him (Flyers goalie Ron Hextall took his frustrations out on Chelios in an infamous attack), but at the end of the day, you wanted him on your team."


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