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Chris Chelios — a Hockey Hall of Famer with three Stanley Cups to his name who played into his late 40s — doesn’t need anything to boost his legend status. Still, he managed to do just that on Saturday night while covering the NHL Stadium Series.
Chelios was chatting with his ESPN cohorts PK Subban, Steve Levy, and Mark Messier before the game. The crew was reminiscing about some of their favorite outdoor game stories, so Chelly talked about playing for the Detroit Red Wings at Wrigley Field in 2009.
“Lucky enough that it was in my hometown, Chicago; Wrigley Field,” he said. “I grew up watching the Cubs. It was surreal, a beautiful winter day.”
There was, however, one obstacle. That obstacle stood on the Red Wings bench at the time while wearing a suit and his name was Mike Babcock.
“The bad part being Mike Babcock tried to yank me out of the lineup, (general manager) Kenny Holland won the battle,” Chelios explained.
Sure, Chelios was nearing the end of his Hall of Fame career at the time, but hockey fans will know that this is very on-brand for Babcock.
“I played two shifts, sat on the bench, and when (assistant coach) Brad McCrimmon told me I wasn’t playing another shift, I had the guys — the trainers — fill the Gatorade bottles with beer, and I had the best seat in the house.
“So, it worked out for me,” he said.
Please, oh please let this story be true.
Chris Chelios in his late 40s having a couple of brews while sitting on the bench with the boys during the Winter Classic is amazing.
He probably stayed nice and warm too; ask Booger McFarland how that works.
Follow on Twitter: @Matt_Reigle