34ºF

Chris Chelios named assistant coach for US National Junior Team

Chris Chelios #24 of the Detroit Red Wings during a game against the Colorado Avalanche on February 4, 2006 at Pepsi Center in Denver, Colorado.
Chris Chelios #24 of the Detroit Red Wings during a game against the Colorado Avalanche on February 4, 2006 at Pepsi Center in Denver, Colorado. (Photo by Garrett Ellwood/NHLImages)

DETROIT – There were rumors that Chris Chelios was seeking a job as an assistant to new Detroit Red Wings coach Jeff Blashill.

Whether that was an option is unclear, but Chelios ended up with an assistant coaching job regardless -- though not in the NHL. He will be part of a trio of assistants next to head coach Ron Wilson behind the 2016 U.S. National Junior Team's bench. The other assistants are Danton Cole and Kevin Reiter.

Chelios doesn't have much experience behind the bench, which may be the reason Blashill and Detroit GM Ken Holland passed on him. This doesn't mean he won't get the job someday. He has been working as an advisor to hockey operations for the Red Wings since he retired in 2010.

The American defenseman spent 26 seasons in the NHL, 10 of which were with Detroit. He was part the Red Wings' 2002 and 2008 Stanley Cup championships. He was inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame in 2013.

As a native of Chicago, Chelios has a rich history in USA Hockey. He represented the United States as a player on 10 different occasions including four Olympic Winter Games (1984, 1998, 2002, 2006), three Canada Cups (1984, 1987, 1991), two World Cup of Hockey events (1996, 2004) and once at the World Junior Championship (1982). He also played college hockey for the University of Wisconsin.

The 2016 U.S. National Junior Team will compete in the 2016 International Ice Hockey Federation World Junior Championship in Helsinki, Finland.

Red Wings assistants still to be named

As for Blashill's assistants, he still doesn't have any confirmed. The Red Wings reportedly would like Tony Granato to stay on the staff.

Meanwhile, Todd Nelson is expected to fill the head coaching void left by Blashill in Grand Rapids. Helene St. James is reporting Nelson could be named the Griffins' head coach as early as Wednesday.

Nelson played with the Griffins in the late 90s. He coached the AHL's Oklahoma City Barons for four seasons before being named interim head coach of the Edmonton Oilers last season. He's got a pretty good resume that could place him in a real NHL head coaching job sooner than later.


About the Author: