Maple Leafs Should Sign Chris Chelios….

So Chris Chelios asked US Olympic/Toronto Maple Leafs head coach Ron Wilson if the Leafs had any interest in his services. I know how old he is, I know how little he played last year and I know that every time he steps on the ice he is taking time away from a kid. However, there are a couple of intangibles that need to be considered and one MAJOR one too. Consider if you will:

1. Chelios is the type of leader that a guy like Luke Schenn could learn from. I don’t care if he only dresses in games that fall during those months that don’t contain the letter R in them, having a guy like Chelios in the room will be a huge help to all the young kids. Last year, for a stretch Schenn, I believe roomed with Brad May. Chelios would be a great mentor for Schenn and all the other younger guys.

2. He would be the Reggie Dunlop of Big Blue and could morph into a Joe Nieuendyk. He is a smart enough guy with lots of passion for the game.

3. Having him here will keep Paul Kelley under wraps. Seriously, ask enough people who got the email snooper fired and they will tell you it was Chris Chelios. If we want Glen Healey silenced, having a guy like Chelios in town will be a big help. When Chelios speaks people listen.

4. He gives a ton of his time to charity and special programs. Burke wants to instill this as a must with Big Blue, no one is better at leading the way then Chris Chelios.

Now, the most important reason, and the one pre-requisite to him joining Big Blue, He must open a Cheli’s Chili Bar somewhere near the ACC. There simply aren’t that many good places to eat before or after a game and Cheli’s Chili Bar happens to be a good spot. Toronto can always use good little places to eat and we are simply missing a spot like this.

So, if he will come cheap, and why wouldn’t he and he understands his role AND we get a Cheli’s Chili Bar I am fully in favour.



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August 18, 2009 11:23 am

I do agree that the young players on the team need someone to show them the ropes…how to deal with the media, the ups and downs of pro hockey, work ethic / training diligence etc…the kind of stuff a Gary Roberts brings to teams. And yes, Luke Schenn would benefit if one of the guys was a defenceman. But….there is no room on this current team. They have 8 pro defenceman (not including Frogren)…it’s not even a question of taking time away from youth…7 of 8 are vets (schenn’s the only kid).

Now, Chelios as assistant coach? I could buy that but it wouldn’t be the same as a “playing mentor”. We’re going to have to hope that Finger and Beauchemin can play that role for Luke and guys like Primeau and Meyers can play that role for some of the young forwards.

For the 2010-2011 season; they are going to have to start to address the leadership (‘C’) question as it may start to become a problem.

August 18, 2009 11:36 am

Please don’t let “Big Blue” creep into our vernacular.

Mike S
Mike S
August 18, 2009 1:13 pm

It’s bad enough that the rest of us have to hear constant references to “Leaf Nation”…………….are we really going to have to be subjected to constant references to “Big Blue” all season??

August 18, 2009 1:39 pm

I am actually warming to the idea, especially if Ian White bumps up to a wing. Chelly and XLB on the back pairing for some games? Sounds…good, actually. A perfect guy for Schenn to emulate, ESPECIALLY in the physical department.

August 18, 2009 1:48 pm

Chelios as a mentor for Schenn? You need a guy who can still play at a high level if they are to be a mentor. Someone like Blake, not Chelios. This would be a move the old Leafs would do, which is why they have been so bad for so long. Burke should be too smart for this. He wants to build a strong team, not bring on a liability for one season.

August 18, 2009 2:17 pm

I think he’d be a great asset, even if he only fills in holes due to injury. He’s too knowledgeable of the game and would be more than valuable to practice with.

August 18, 2009 3:00 pm

I wonder if he would accept a two-way deal, mentor for our boys in the AHL and fill in injury holes in the NHL. then find him a job behind the bench next year after he played with all the guys.

August 18, 2009 4:18 pm

cheli would be perfect. he would also make a great captain for the year. the leafs need a big name….i think he’d be great. not that we need another defenceman, but this year is probably a write-off anyways.

months that have an ‘R’…LOL

August 19, 2009 9:16 am

>There simply aren’t that many good places to eat before or after a game

Hoops, Harbour Sports Grill.

August 19, 2009 9:32 am

Finally someone makes sense. Do it and make him captain until Schenn is ready. Wouldn’t that piss off Detroit

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