Chelios dreaded retirement

LANCE HORNBY, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 10:42 AM ET

When Chris Chelios played his first NHL game for Montreal, Ronald Reagan was in his first term, Guy Lafleur still led the team in points, the North Stars were Minnesota's team, Winnipeg, Hartford and Quebec all had franchises and Boston's Barry Pedersen was a top-10 scorer.

Chelios officially bowed out Tuesday, his seven-game appearance with Atlanta last season tying Gordie Howe for most NHL seasons at 26. The 48-year-old three-time Norris Trophy winner had more than 1,000 points and 3,000 penalty minutes when playoffs are included.

"I guess I've been dreading this day for a long time," Chelios told a news conference in Detroit., where it was announced he will take a hockey office position helping prospects and the coaching staff.

Chelios was a great defenceman, who embraced the villain's role, too, playing on the edge, once getting attacked by Flyers' goalie Ron Hextall in the 1989 playoffs and wondering aloud about whether commissioner Gary Bettman would be safe from physical harm during the heated rhetoric of the 1994-95 lockout.


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