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.