The US Hockey Hall of Fame inducted five new members today, welcoming in two Blackhawks alums, Chris Chelios and Gary Suter, along with Keith Tkachuk, Mike “Doc” Emrick, and Ed Snider.
Chris Chelios still might be a controversial figure in Blackhawks history because he left Chicago in 1999 to play for the Detroit Red Wings (never mind that he was traded away — facts get in the way of the grudge), but no one can deny that he was an important figure here. The Chicago native played nine seasons with the Blackhawks, winning two Norris Trophies and leading the 1992 team to the Stanley Cup Finals (which they lost to the Pittsburgh Penguins). He also won the 1996 World Cup of Hockey while with the Blackhawks.
His longevity in the league (and the fact that he has not completely closed the door on his hockey career) has also provided endless amusement in the form of “Chelios is so old” jokes. My favorite? “Chelios is so old, he was drafted the year I was born!”
…Oh, wait, no. That’s not a joke at all. Uh. Well. Moving on!
Gary Suter joined the Blackhawks in 1993 and stayed on for five seasons, amassing 179 points while wearing the Indianhead. He also won the 1996 World Cup of Hockey with Chelios. His nephew is Ryan Suter, who vexes the Blackhawks at least six times a year as part of the Nashville Predators.
For more information about the other three inductees, check out my article on Hockey Abroad.