Wednesday, January 9, 2008
The only thing old about Chris Chelios is the birthdate on his birth certificate, after that it might be the odd fleck of grey hair, but who doesn't have a few of those after age 30.
The story of Chris Chelios has always been amazing and it just keeps getting better and better. The path he took to the National Hockey League was filled with many road blocks, detours and a few chopping blocks that had his head on them.
Chris may very well be the mentally toughest player that has ever played in the NHL and professional sports for that matter. He has perservered with his love of the game and a never say die or quit attitude. People talk about how he takes care of his body and how he works out with TR Goodman in Venice, California in the summer, but it is his mental toughness that keeps him getting out of bed every morning to workout, skate and play the game with that very nasty chip on his shoulder edge every single game.
How long will he play? I don't care, in my opinion very few players have ever played such a consistent style of game their whole career. He may not have the numbers he once had offensively, but he has never changed the way he plays without the puck. He still hacks and whacks every single shift, gets in physical and verbal altercations on the ice and still gets pissed at the coach when he doesn't have the right guys on the ice.
There has never been a teammate of his that has said a bad word about him and there have been a lot of teammates. His friends, family, teammates and coaches have always idolized him and it has nothing to do with age, it has to do with his loyalty, passion and I am who I am attitude every single day.
What a great player, teammate and person.
People like Wayne Gretzky, Mike Modano and Chris Chelios are why hockey has the greatest people in professional sports from top to bottom.
Wednesday, January 2, 2008
The National Hockey League came up big with Winter Classic in Buffalo yesterday.
This may have been the NHL's finest hour in decades, the roar of the crowd, the huge snowflakes and the always amazing Sidney Crosby at his best. A true hockey fan couldn't ask for much more than was provided in this game. There was end to end action, solid goaltending and the ambiance of the blowing snow. This game had it all and then to finish with a very exciting overtime and shootout highlight that will be shown for decades, was hockey heaven.
Way to go Gary Bettman, the Pittsburgh Penguins and the great hockey fans of Buffalo and their hard-working and exciting Sabres.
I have talked with so many hockey fans about the game yesterday and more importantly non-hockey watching people that watched the game and absolutely loved it.
I know yesterday that I missed being a kid playing shinny hockey on the outdoor rinks in Edmonton, Alberta where I grew up.
This was a great moment for the National Hockey League and all of those ever associated with the great game of hockey.
Thanks to the NHL, NHLPA and most of all to the players on both the Buffalo Sabres and Pittsburgh Penguins for putting on such a great show.