Saturday, May 24, 2008

Chelios makes a case to resurrect an old TV series

He was out of the lineup on Saturday for Game One of the Stanley Cup Final, but Detroit Red Wings owe much of its success in getting to this point to Chris Chelios.

It seems unlikely for a professional career in any sport to stem over 24 seasons, especially hockey. Chelios is an anomaly. Maybe he isn’t even human. He’s Lee Majors reincarnated: the Six Million Dollar Man cyborg.

In fact, in the last couple of seasons, Chelios looks to be in the best shape of his career, probably in better shape than half the players in the National Hockey League.

What’s his secret? His personal trainer, T. R. Goodman, has crafted a fitness regime that focuses on Chelios’ muscular endurance, strength, and high performance. In other words, this cocktail of exercises has seemingly transformed the three-time Norris Trophy winner and 11-time All Star into an athletic wonder.

It would appear the Wings’ D-man has more than a couple of seasons left. He has even admitted having an eye on playing to age 50. He only has four years to go. That said, in January 2008, Chelios became the second oldest player in National Hockey League history, second only to Gordie Howe. So when you think about it, four more seasons doesn’t seem a very big stretch. Heck, Chelios is even older than his coach Mike Babcock. He’s living proof that age is only a number.

When you have a man like this on your team, he can’t help but inspire the rest of the players, just by sheer work ethic, grit, and determination. Anyone who has played 1,616 regular season games plus 260 playoff games, including one Stanley Cup, and captained three U.S. Olympic teams has to garner the respect of his teammates and anyone who watches the game.

Chris Chelios was listed as a finalist for the Masterton Trophy, which will be presented at the NHL Awards on June 12. If the trophy goes to the NHL player who best exemplifies the qualities of perseverance, sportsmanship, and dedication to hockey, who else could possibly rank ahead of this man? Yes, he’s taken his shots on the ice from time to time, but there is no question to his dedication. And if there is anything we can all learn from Chelios is he rewrote the meaning of perseverance.


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