#7 will finally be going up to the rafters at the United Center. But it won’t be Brent Seabrook–at least for now. No, the Chicago Blackhawks will be giving Chris Chelios his due by retiring his number in February fittingly against Detroit.
The announcement was made tonight at the Pearl Jam concert, and Chelios also appeared on stage with the band.
A Blackhawks Legend and Chicago Icon: Cheli is going to the rafters 👏 pic.twitter.com/6fyOeQ34v1
— Chicago Blackhawks (@NHLBlackhawks) September 8, 2023
Chelios and Eddie Vedder are both friends so being announced at the Pearl Jam concert is hardly surprising. What a memory for Pearl Jam and Chicago Blackhawks fans.
Long Awaited Honor For Chelios
Chelios, of course, was traded to Detroit in 1999 for a pair of first round picks and defenseman Anders Eriksson. He would go onto win two Stanley Cups with the Red Wings while the Blackhawks would go into a deep organizational dive through the early to mid-2000’s.
Fans were angry as Chelios, who once told local sports personality Mike North that he would never play in Detroit years earlier. When he pulled on the Winged Wheel, he also pulled a giant red bullseye on his back, too.
Chelios was booed on his return trips to Chicago, more back then since the teams were division rivals. But once Chelios retired and the Red Wings moved to the Eastern Conference, the rivalry cooled. Chelios returned to Chicago as an ambassador, and now, he’ll see his iconic #7 rise to the rafters.
Chris Chelios Represented Hard Nosed Blackhawks Hockey
When the Blackhawks were competing in the early 90’s, it was the gritty and never back down Chelios who embodied the hockey and blue collar hockey that Chicagoans loved and respected. Some would say he was undersized in stature, but his fight never was. Chelios went toe to toe with the greatest and nastiest the game had to offer.
He never backed down. Nor did he ever let up.
But his iconic #7 will–to hang with the the legendary Blackhawks of yesteryear.