Thrashers sign Chelios

The Thrashers have signed defenseman Chris Chelios, the team announced Tuesday.

Chelios, 48, has been playing for the Thrashers’ AHL affiliate in Chicago this season, although he was not property of the Thrashers. He signs with the Thrashers as an unrestricted free agent. He appeared in 44 games for the Wolves this season with five goals and 16 assists. He was also a plus-35.

Chelios must clear waivers, which the Thrashers will know by noon Wednesday. If he is not claimed by another team, he will  remain in Chicago. However, he will be available to the Thrashers.

According to GM Don Waddell, Chelios gives the team veteran depth in case of injury.

“You never know,” Waddell said when asked the likelihood that Chelios is called up. “We have a busy schedule. When you go into a run like this, you like to have 10 defenseman in case you get a couple of injuries.”

Over his 25-year NHL career, Chelios won three Stanley Cups. He  scored  948 points (185 goals, 763 assists) and 2,891 penalty minutes in 1,644 career games with the Red Wings, Blackhawks and Canadiens.  In a NHL-record 266 career playoff games, Chelios has 144 points (31 goals, 113 assists)

He won the Stanley Cup with Montreal (1986) and twice with Detroit (2002 and 2008).

Other notes of interest from morning skate prior to tonight’s game against Panthers.

* Johan Hedberg will get the start in goal.

*It looks like Christoph Schubert will return on defense after suffering a knee injury and missing past 13 games. Slava Kozlov and Mark Popovic will be the scratches.

*The inclement weather in Atlanta is hindering the arrival of newly-acquired Evgeny Artyukhin. He was not at the team’s morning skate and may not arrive today from Anaheim.

170 comments Add your comment

Raider Fan

March 2nd, 2010
12:16 pm

FIRST! AND I LOVE THIS!!!

GaVaHokie

March 2nd, 2010
12:18 pm

Oh no… let the jokes begin.

Get The Puck Out

March 2nd, 2010
12:29 pm

The vet’s gonna help the young’ns.

Steve

March 2nd, 2010
12:30 pm

Next we will sign Gordie Howe and Brett Hull and maybe bring Gretzky out of retirement!!!!!!

Mike

March 2nd, 2010
12:30 pm

Interesting development. Does this mean Kubina may be moved for a forward? I kind of hope not as Chelios won’t be around next year and hopefully we can resign Kubina for another two years. Too bad we can’t bring Kulda up too and let the two of them play together like they have most of the season,then we could have: (Not in any particular order)

Chelios-Kulda
Kubina-Enstrom
Hainsey-Oyuda

Then you would have your choice of Bogo, Schubert, Pops on the bench. You could put Schubert in there for Kubina if Kubina is moved and let Bogo get his head back on straight.

It will be interesting what RD and DW do. We could see Kubina, Kozzy, Armstrong and maybe even a Thors or Bolts moved. Add some draft picks in there and they actually seem to have a decent amount of assests to get a good return. Fingers crossed.

GaVaHokie

March 2nd, 2010
12:31 pm

Okay, that’s a little better… he’s a reserve player. He’ll stay in Chicago until needed… I can deal with that.

GaVaHokie

March 2nd, 2010
12:39 pm

Couple of interesting names on waivers today… Ryan Jones (NSH) Aaron Voros(NYR) and Lisin (NYR)

Rip Van Winkle

March 2nd, 2010
12:41 pm

Don Waddell is still empoloyed in Atlanta? How long did I doze off?

IlliniDawg

March 2nd, 2010
12:41 pm

Just what the “NHL-joke-of-a-team-formerly-known-as-the Thrashers” needed – comic relief. And we are supposed to take this team seriously? Please, Thrashers, leave town ASAP – and take the Spirit with you!!!

Bryan G.

March 2nd, 2010
12:42 pm

Why don’t they see if Gordy Howe is available while they’re at it?

Miami Screaming Eagle

March 2nd, 2010
12:42 pm

This is a great move. Veteran leadership, this defense has not had any and now they do!

4jacks

March 2nd, 2010
12:43 pm

hahahahahahahaha…this is a joke, right? If not, this is just another example of the complete incompetence of the sorriest ownership that has ever graced the world of sports. This ownership should be under investigation by the leauge. They certainly do not care at all, I mean AT ALL about the Atlanta hockey and sports fan. I hope they lose every last nickel they have and then some. I will never go back as long as this ownership is in place.

Movin' Man

March 2nd, 2010
12:47 pm

I wonder if Chelios will be moving to Winnipeg next season, along with the rest of the team?

Stevo

March 2nd, 2010
12:47 pm

I think this is actually a good move. It gives depth to the D and adds a veteran presence to the locker room in case he is called up. If the Thrashers are still fighting for a playoff spot in a couple of weeks I could definitely see Cheli being called up to mentor this young team.

FlamesFan

March 2nd, 2010
12:48 pm

“Chelios must clear waivers and may remain in Chicago.”

What does this mean? Can another NHL claim him? Is the plan to put him in a Thrasher uniform? What a freak of nature! +/- of +35!!! No, he can no longer pull 25 minutes, but the minutes he does are quality.

And does this mean Atlanta will soon be getting a Cheli’s Chili Bar?

sisu

March 2nd, 2010
12:49 pm

Considering he has to clear waivers it could be interesting…there is no denying that he is an excellent conditioned athlete but so is Kozlov. Who knows, maybe he will be here.

ChippersLoveChild

March 2nd, 2010
12:55 pm

Well… we do need a captain for next year… ;)

Smoothie

March 2nd, 2010
12:56 pm

C-Viv – must he clear waivers simply because he will be “assigned” to Chicago first? Or could he have been signed directly to the roster as a UFA without clearing? If so, why make him clear waivers. We’ll need him at some point for sure. Hell, we need him now to work with Bogosian.

Perhaps you can only re-enter the NHL as a UFA via training camp without having to clear waivers. I hope to hell he gets lost in the shuffle with the likes of Lisin, Voros and Jones on waivers. I reckon we have nothing to worry about since none of the 10 teams below us, who are definite sellers, need a 47 y/o 7th D-man.

jim

March 2nd, 2010
12:57 pm

Chris Chelios career games played = 1645
Atlanta Thrashers franchise games played = 820

chief of smoke

March 2nd, 2010
12:58 pm

Hey Moving Man… What will they do to the Manitoba Moose go back to sleep No NHL team for Winnipeg ever

Bob

March 2nd, 2010
1:03 pm

He probably has holes in his underwear older than most of Thrasher players.

Winkasdad29

March 2nd, 2010
1:05 pm

We coulda used Chris Chelios 10 years ago. He was a great player. The Thrashers might as well signed Chev Chelios instead.

Fire Don Waddell

March 2nd, 2010
1:05 pm

Who is Don Waddell going to sign next? Gordie Howe? I hear he’s a pretty good player and available…

mike hunt

March 2nd, 2010
1:08 pm

Is this the same Chev Chelios that gave the guy a shotgun enema in Crank 2?

Darren

March 2nd, 2010
1:13 pm

I would definitely be in favor of a Chev Chelios signing, although you’d have to keep him away from the ice girls.

Movin' Man

March 2nd, 2010
1:13 pm

Once the Thrashers relocate to Winnipeg (and are renamed the Jets), the Manitoba Moose will be “Runnin’ Back to Saskatoon”. I can’t wait to raise a Molson Brador and toast the return of the NHL to a REAL hockey town!

English Teacher

March 2nd, 2010
1:19 pm

Only to have them leave to some larger market in a few years…

Cindiefk

March 2nd, 2010
1:21 pm

I love Chelios, yep he is up there but he is a bad@@@ for sure. Still tougher than lots of other guys on the ice now

Darren

March 2nd, 2010
1:23 pm

Back to the topic at hand, to put things into a fun perspective, John Anderson’s only 4 years older than Chelios, but retired in 1994.

Whitaker42

March 2nd, 2010
1:28 pm

I believe the reason Chelios has to clear waivers is because while he was playing for the Wolves the Wolves are not own by the Thrashers so this is no different than if he was just sitting at home waiting for a call and the Thrashers assigned him to Chicago. It is just simply ironic.

I like this move as I said in the past we needed to do this, I would rather he be a roster player than a minor league assignment. He may past waivers now, but I am not so sure he will if we choose to bring him up.

All I'm Saying Is...

March 2nd, 2010
1:32 pm

Some of you can rationalize this move all you want but for me the bottom line is how do you know your hockey team has no talent on its roster and your General Manager no clue? Your G.M. signs athletes that are 48 years old to play for them and expect them to be in a position to contribute. Why don’t we see if Gordie Howe is available too while we’re at it.

fes

March 2nd, 2010
1:40 pm

does he bring his own rocking chair or will we have to provide one upon call up?

Coop

March 2nd, 2010
1:40 pm

Simply embarassing. What a pathetic organization.

ChippersLoveChild

March 2nd, 2010
1:41 pm

Who said they expected Chelios to contribute to the Thrashers?

And for the record, you know your hockey team has no talent on its roster and your General Manager has no clue when you are a Toronto Maple Leaf fan… ;)

moriler

March 2nd, 2010
1:41 pm

That’s hilarious. I wonder if he comes with his own broomstick to stick down the back of his jersey and prop him up?

As funny as it is — the kind of veteran presence a guy like Chelios would bring if we ever _did_ call him up would be immediately apparent. No, he’s nowhere near as good as he used to be, but you can’t discount the sheer brainpower and experience between his ears — even if he only played 5 minutes a game, just think of what the kids would learn by being near him.

kracker

March 2nd, 2010
1:42 pm

Don’t feed the trolls.

Chris

March 2nd, 2010
1:43 pm

He has to clear waivers because up to this point, he was not property of an NHL team. Now that he is, he is subject to the rules of the NHL CBA before he can be assigned to the minor league affiliate. Those rules state maximum age/games played benchmarks (which he obviously far exceeds) for which players must be exposed to the waiver wire before they can be re-assigned to the minor leagues. This is to prevent teams from “hiding” veteran players in the minors to skirt the roster limitation rules.
After 24 hours on the waiver wire, if no one claims him he can be reassigned. Given that no one has signed him in the last 8 months, it’s reasonable to assume that he will clear waivers and stay in Chicago, but this time, as Atlanta Thrashers property.
This is the same process that any NHL team would go through any time they want to send a veteran player (who exceeds the minimum games played threshold) to the minors. The Ottawa Senators just did this with Jonathon Cheechoo in order to send him to their AHL team.

Whitaker42

March 2nd, 2010
1:51 pm

The team is desperate for wins. Yes, this could be seen as a crazy move, if they just added Chelios to the roster it would have given us a mentor for the d-men veterans and rookies, anyone could learn something from him. Also we did it without giving anything up, name one elite veteran d-man that we could get from nothing? There is no one.

the fish

March 2nd, 2010
1:52 pm

Get rid of Kovy, sign Chelios….makes sense to me.
Freaking hillarious. The best part is that I didn’t waste 20 cents on the bums this year! Good move on my part!

Daniel Bouchard

March 2nd, 2010
1:52 pm

Who is Don Waddell? The second coming of Joe McGrath? What’s next, signing the Hanson brothers? Maybe fake the sale of the team to Florida?

Mo Wanchuck

March 2nd, 2010
1:54 pm

Hey Reg, I want a chair by the pool!

RCS

March 2nd, 2010
1:55 pm

Eddie Shore?
Old time hockey?

Jim Carr

March 2nd, 2010
1:58 pm

With the playoffs rapidly approaching, could the following signings be very far off?

Tim “Dr. Hook” McCracken
Ogie Ogilthorpe
Gilmore Tuttle
Ross “Mad Dog” Madison
Clarence “Screaming Buffalo” Swamptown

…so much for “Old Time Hockey” !!!

Ned Braden

March 2nd, 2010
2:00 pm

That’s what it says in the year book……

It’s because I hate my father!

All I'm Saying Is...

March 2nd, 2010
2:02 pm

ChippersLoveChild: Why sign him if you don’t expect him to contribute in some way whether on the ice or not?

I’d have more respect if they announced this as primarily a front-office/player development position which might include ice-team and offering advice during PRACTICE.

How Waddell retains his job is a bigger mystery than the ongoing appeal of CarrotTop.

What a joke.

Joe McGrath

March 2nd, 2010
2:02 pm

Reg, Reg, that reminds me. I was coachin’ in Omaha in 1948 and Eddie Shore sends me this guy who was a terrible masturbator, you know, couldn’t control himself. Why, he would get deliberate penalties so he could get over in the penalty box all by himself and damned if he wouldn’t… you know…

The Real Thrash

March 2nd, 2010
2:03 pm

When is Gordy Howe coming?

Jack

March 2nd, 2010
2:04 pm

DW should also look into signing the wingers of the Atlanta Flames.

Stevo

March 2nd, 2010
2:05 pm

I can’t believe the level of ignorance of some people on this blog. Just from reading some of the comments you would think that not only is Chelios joining the team now, but he is going to be asked to play 25 mins a night. Neither of which is the case. He is staying in Chicago for now, and if he does get called up it will likely be in a minor role. This is a good signing to add depth at D and to add a veteran presence to the locker room if needed. If you people spent as much time supporting the team as you do criticizing every transaction then this team would have some real fan support.

Willie Plett

March 2nd, 2010
2:09 pm

I’ve fallen and I can’t get up!