Wednesday, July 28, 2004

Chris Chelios Stirs up Trouble

The Las Vegas Review-Journal reported that defenseman Chris Chelios was booted from the restaurant FIX on Saturday.  This was the result of Chelios practicing the Greek tradition of plate breaking.  After explaining himself, Chelios was allowed to return to his group, which included Hollywood producer Jerry Bruckheimer, tennis star Jennifer Capriati, actors Cuba Gooding Jr and Alan Thicke, former Wings Sergei Fedorov and Luc Robitaille, and stick-swinging Marty McSorley.  Chelios was in Vegas with the star-studded group for Detroit native Jerry Bruckheimer's annual Bad Boys of Hockey weekend.   To Las Vegas Review-Journal columnist Norm Clarke, this was just "More proof that NHL veteran Chris Chelios has the IQ of a hockey puck."  Clarke recalled a previous Vegas incident in which Chelios grabbed a lobster from a restaurant tank, and proceeded in torturing it at his table.    Chelios has a history of bad behavior: on-ice dirty plays (elbow of Brian Propp in '89 playoffs), off-ice bar-hopping in Chicago, refusing to reveal the names of the Team USA players who trashed their rooms at the '98 Olympics, and numerous suspensions (sat out eight games during the '93-'94 season).  His dirty play was the reason that Wings fans hated Chelios before he joined the team in 1999.  You hate Chelios unless he's on your team, much like ex-Wing Sean Avery. After watching Fox Sports Net's "Beyond the Glory" segment on Chelios, and keeping in mind his charity work with Cheli's Children's Foundation, I have a hard time looking at Chelios and seeing the blockhead that Clarke sees.  Sure, Chelios has made mistakes throughout his career, but you can't put on the blinders to the good and make him out like a total goon.     Chelios is at his off-season home in California, where he trains with TR Goodman.  He has agreed to a base salary of approximately $2.5 million for one season, and only negotiating bonus clauses keep Cheli from inking the deal to stay with the Wings.   


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