The team confirmed late Thursday night that the Chicago Blackhawks will be retiring jersey number 7 held by Chris Chelios. The surprising news was delivered to the Hockey Hall of Famer on stage by his close friend Eddie Vedder during the Pearl Jam concert at the United Center.
Chelios will retire his number on Sunday, February 25, 2024 against the Detroit Red Wings, with whom he won two of his three Stanley Cups.
“We are entering a new era of Blackhawks ice hockey, but the importance of honoring former members of this organization is and always will be a priority,” Blackhawks Chairman and CEO Danny Wertz said in a statement. “Chris Chelios represents not only the Blackhawks, but the city of Chicago as well, given his roots here. The Rockies wanted Chris to be the next Blackhawks to retire his jersey and he was hoping to see this moment. We look forward to celebrating Chris’ career in February with his family and friends And share with Blackhawks fans.
“We are delighted that Chris Chelios’ number hangs forever from the rafters of the United Center,” Jamie Faulkner, the Blackhawks’ chief commercial officer, said in a statement. “There is so much to come for the organization as we celebrate the accomplishments of the many great players who have worn the Blackhawks jersey. With our upcoming centenary celebration during the 2025-26 season, plans to celebrate our alumni and additional jersey retirements will continue.
show and we look forward to sharing that with our fans.
Chelios will become the ninth player in franchise history to have his number retired, joining Glenn Hall (#1), Keith Magnusson (#3), Pierre Pilot (#3), Bobby Hull (#9), Denis Savard. (#18), Stan Mikita (#21), Tony Esposito (#35), and Marian Hossa (#81).
Chelios spent nine of his 26 NHL seasons in his native Chicago, producing 487 points (92 goals, 395 assists) in 664 regular season games and adding 48 points (12 goals, 36 assists) in 65 postseason contests . His 487 points ranks fourth among defensemen in franchise history.
During his time with the Blackhawks, Chelios appeared in five NHL All-Star games, received two Norris Trophies as the league’s best defensive player, and even earned Hart Trophy votes — the league’s most valuable player — in two seasons. He also served as team captain from 1995 to 1999.
Chelios was inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame on November 8, 2013.
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