I talked about how I viewed him in the top-5 or top-10 of all time about a month and a half ago, and that still stands and will until another suitor is actually worth reconsidering for, which may or may not happen in my lifetime.After which two-time Norris Trophy winner Duncan Keith had a Conn Smythe-winning run for the ages, averaging more than 30 minutes of ice time per game at a dominant rate. He was seemingly involved in every play, both defensively and offensively, so much so that it didn't matter that neither Jonathan Toews nor Patrick Kane had any noteworthy input in the Final.
Keith's play was very Chelios-like, Chicago Blackhawks era. A dominant force, a true leader. Remember Chelios being the guy who put Jeremy Roenick back in his place after losing in the 1991-92 Stanley Cup Final and two Conference Finals, Roenick claiming ''it's ok, we'll win it next year'' and Chelios letting him know he may never play in another Cup Final - and he didn't, while Cheli won two more Cups with the Detroit Red Wings (in addition to the one he won in Montréal in 1986). Different types of leadership, sure, but exactly what the Hawks needed in each of their eras.
Chelios works for the Wings nowadays, having spent this past season as special advisor to GM Ken Holland, and he will be a special assistant coach next year, in addition to being an assistant coach for Team USA at the World Juniors. I'm certain he'll be a huge help for both teams.
Now, if he could train most Wings the way he trained, Holland might have a team of superheroes on his hands...
Last month, I showed Chelios wearing the Hawks' red (then-away) uniform; now it's time for the white (home) one:
2003-04 Original 6 (Chicago Blackhawks) manufactured by In The Game. ITG made boxes of each Original Six team, and Chelios had a card in half of them (#31 in both the Hawks and Montréal Canadiens' sets, #2 in the Wings set). I got him to sign it in black sharpie when he played his last game in Montréal, in 2007, as a member of the Wings. I was under the impression I also had a card of his with the Habs that day, but I can't find it - maybe it's with my McFarlane figurine, which I've also misplaced.