It slipped through the cracks last week, but Chris Chelios' retirement at age 48 deserves to be talked about.
Even if his career here ended on a sour note when he asked to be traded and wound up in Detroit, Chelios is one of the greatest defensemen in NHL history and one of the best Blackhawks ever.
Chelios was a dominant Hawk from 1990-99. While those teams never won a Stanley Cup, they were powerhouse clubs with Chelios the nasty backbone. He won two Norris Trophies during his time in Chicago and rarely lost battles.
Certainly the Hawks will honor Chelios at some point with a Heritage Night, but the bigger question is should his No. 7 be retired and hung from the rafters?
I get the feeling this is going to be a split decision with fans.
Did Chelios play here long enough? That’s the key question. He appeared in 664 regular season games with the Hawks and had 487 points to go with those two Norris Trophies.
Compare those numbers to what Pierre Pilote did as a great Hawks defenseman to have his No. 3 retired. Pilote played in 821 games from 1955-68 and had 477 points, winning three Norris Trophies and a Stanley Cup in 1961.
Pilote is in the Hockey Hall of Fame. Chelios no doubt will join him in three years.
It's a tough call. But while Chelios was a great, great player, I would have to say no to retiring his No. 7. There's no discussion about retiring the numbers of Steve Larmer and Doug Wilson, and their accomplishments were many.