Chelios eyes spot on Leafs D


Chris Chelios asked the Maple Leafs for a job yesterday — and he wasn’t talking about off the ice.

And he wasn’t kidding, either.
Chelios asked coach Ron Wilson, with whom he is working at the U.S. Olympic hockey orientation camp, if the Leafs were in the market for a veteran defenceman.

“Do you guys have room in Toronto?” Chelios asked Wilson, who was not at all surprised by the question.

“He still wants to play,” Wilson said.

Chelios, 47, did not have his contract renewed by the Detroit Red Wings but isn’t ready to pack it in.

“You can make an argument that he’s the greatest American player of all time,” Wilson said. “I know some people will say (Pat) Lafontaine and some will say (Mike) Modano. But Chelios is a true warrior, he’s been around for all the great battles.”

Chelios is at the U.S. camp as part of general manager Brian Burke’s advisory staff.

34 Responses to Chelios eyes spot on Leafs D

  1. Kramer says:

    I reported this before every body cuz I got my secret insider source at the ACC.

  2. HABSSTAR says:

    Huh?  Why would a guy who's looking at being a #8 D-man ask a team with something around 12 NHL D-men for a tryout? 

  3. Elite_Destruction says:

    LOL, called this months ago, Haha

  4. nordiques100 says:

    you fools.

    once WE trade finger for del zotto ( The rangers could use a stay at home blueliner and here the Leafs get some D depth)

    and we move Van Ryn to CBJ for a 1st and 3rd(they need a puck moving defenceman desperately)

    WE will need a spare blueliner as Burke said 8 is needed to win. So this would be a totally Great move.

    I just dont see why you leaf fans who you consider yourselves experts cant see this and how EASY it will be to make these moves.

    ………………now before you ranger fans and the one lone blue jacket fan spazzes out, let me say i am TOTALLY KIDDING ON THE TRADE SUGGESTIONS.

    Chelly is a nice story, but no thanks. Honestly i think he at some point in the year ends up with the Bruins as they only have 6 NHL blueliners right now and he would be a fine depth guy.

  5. leafy says:

    If this happens, it would make the loss of Stralman even more ridiculous.  And make no mistake, ridiculous it was.

    I ask this straight up: Who would you want on your team right now, Stralman or Chelios?  I wanna know truthfully, vote NOW!

  6. zackman13 says:

    seriously, we would have lost stralman on waivers if we called him up or forced him to the minors all year so burke traded him for A 2nd rounder, id take chelios and a 2nd instead of having stralman gone for nothing or forced in the minors all year. who wouldnt?

  7. the_word says:

    Do it Burke, I can afford to see the Marlies on a regular basis.

  8. ranger_fan says:

    Why doesn't Slats offer him a job? Seriously? Our D is very young and inexperienced.

    Would Leaf fans entertain the idea of Aaron Voros and a mid level prospect/pick for either Ian White or Jonas Frogren? Salaries are similar and we need defense and have forwards available.

  9. mojo19 says:

    you actually did. Well done

  10. mojo19 says:

    Frogren but not White. Ian White put up over 20 pts last year and plays fwd/d, so he's a real good utility guy. From the trade deadline on, he was the Leafs ice time leader also and he played really well down the stretch.

    I'm not suggesting White is any kind of star by any means, but definitely a good utility guy to have on your bench. He's one of the only Leafs d-men who could be used on the PP as well.

    Frogren, I actually like but because we're crowded that wouldn't be a bad deal. However, since we gave up a 4th rounder as compensation for his contract, I would hope to get at least that back, I guess Voros and mid pick would be fair.

  11. mojo19 says:

    He's had a great career but could he seriously beat out this group at camp?

    I don't think so. He's looking at being number 10 on the depth chart, at best.

  12. reinjosh says:

    who would be better to have as a veteran influence on a young team than a defenceman who has played in 25 seasons
    been in 24 playoffs
    made the first all-star team 5 times
    won three stanley cups
    norris trophy winner 3 times
    captain for 5 seasons on the canadiens and leafs
    winner of the plus minus award once
    captain of the U.S. national team 3 times
    yes he is old but for 30 games a season at league minimum we have absolutely nothing to lose and everything to gain
    it would never win us the cup but the amount he could teach Schenn could be huge

  13. reinjosh says:

    you never know
    hes determined to play till he is 50
    and he surprised alot of people playing until he was 47
    he could be switched in and out with finger and frogren or with injuries
    though if he is signed burke will definitely be trading a dman before the season starts

  14. mojo19 says:

    At age 41, 42, 43, hell maybe even 44 but that's a stretch, I would agree with you reinjosh. But Chelli is closer to 50 at this point.

    I'd rather just go with what we've got. I guess Chelios would be interesting just to have around and travel with the team because you're right, his resume speaks for itself. But he can't really play anymore. He looked so bad in the playoffs for Detroit in the few games that he dressed.

    A better option (even though we need no d-men) could be Matt Schneider because he could be a veteran leader but also contribute on the ice.

  15. mojo19 says:

    Based on what I saw from him last year, its definitely time to hang 'em up.

  16. cam7777 says:

    Agreed, and if we really want Chelios around, I'm sure Burke and Wilson will bring him on to help out with the defense coaching once he finally retires. 

  17. cam7777 says:

    part of that is the rust because he played so little in Detroit.  I think he could probably still be a bottom pairing guy on a team where he would get consistent ice-time.  hard, even for chelios, to just jump into the 3rd round of the playoffs and not look out of place – regardless of age…

  18. Elite_Destruction says:

    LOL, Almost the EXACT same thing i was gonna say about the losing Stralman for nothing, i don't think some Leaf fans are aware of why Burke had to deal him for what he could get, but oh well, your on the ball lol, good job man.

  19. leafy says:

    Stralman could have made the roster as the number 7 guy, that is, if they wanted to keep him.  We can assume Finger and Frogren are Marlies bound.

    Also, why does everybody assume the new D are better?  For instance, why do people automatically think Exelby is a keeper without seeing him play much?

    Last year at this time, people had high hopes for Finger and Frogren assuming they would be solid additions.

    Why are people like that?

  20. leafy says:

    I agree with Mojo on this one, Chelios is done.

    But here's what I find fascinating: When a young talent like Stralman is traded, people don't give a shit, making excuses he was waivers bound.

    Then a week later, it's announced that an old fart like Chelios is available, and people don't mind getting him.  Remarkable.

  21. leafy says:

    Definitely Chelios would really look good on the coaching staff one day. I would imagine though he would get swamped with offers.

  22. cam7777 says:

    Oh, I don't want him, don't misunderstand me.  I'm just saying, that given a regular shift, I'm sure he could still be productive at this level.  I wouldn't mind having him with the organization, but not on the ice.

    I don't care that Stralman is gone so much as I care that we didn't use him to get something we needed.  Surely packaged with something minor (a 3rd or another prospect) we could have brought in a forward or a prospect that at least has a chance of being a top six in the near future.  A 2nd is a good return, but it will be 5 years before that 2nd plays in the NHL.

    I understand the rationale – that Stralman would have had to clear waivers if he was ever called up to the big club, and was rumored to be going back to SEL if he didn't get ample oppurtunity. That would have been a wasted asset, so at least we got somethng. 

    What disturbs me is that Sutter is the GM who picked him.  Sutter is a shrewd man, and knows his hockey.  He must think Stralman has what it takes to be a factor in the NHL in the near future, because he could have easily afforded to just stick Primeau in the minors and eat the cap hit.  It wasn't that enormous. 

  23. leafy says:

    Great point! The fact that Sutter liked him should be setting off alarm bells.  I have a strong feeling the Leafs are going to regret losing Stralman but we shall see.

  24. cam7777 says:

    Blind hope, partly.  Also, the analysts on draft day (TSN) had nothing but praise for Exelby and Stuart when that trade went down.  It's not like Frogren where the hype for his "solid addition" kind of materialized out of the wild desperation of Leaf Nation. 

    They were both fine additions for what they were actually intended to bring to the ice.  Finger blocks shots, hits, stays at home, and can put up points when given the chance.  Frogren just smashes people. 

    I actually liked Stralman too, and although I can't remember specific examples, I remember thinking a couple times throughout last season, that he was more physical and tougher than he was given credit for in Leafs Nation.  And also, he's statistically better than Jack Johnson in Los Angeles, despite the fact they are the same age – yet Johnson is considered to be an elite prospect with an infinite ceiling.  It's all just talk.

    Stralman could have made it, but White deserves a spot more than he does, and Burke likes Exelby and Frogren more, and Wilson likes Finger and VanRyn more.  It's political.  At least we got a 2nd round pick…

  25. cam7777 says:

    then it's a good thing he will have already had a history with burke and wilson at these upcoming olympics – inside track.  I wouldn't be surprized if Burke is accidentally letting Kane overhear some of the attractive benefits of playing in Leaf Nation also. 

  26. reinjosh says:

    yah the whole sutter thing does point to stralmans talent
    sutter has a very good eye for players under performing and all they need is the chance
    though i think hes hoping stralman will develop into a nice trade asset so sutter can get a top 6 forward

  27. reinjosh says:

    though i think your looking into this deal way to hard
    to you stralman is a player with good talent and potential
    though he has this talent, he hasnt been able to prove in the last two seasons that he deserved to be waited upon to develop into a top 6 dman (which he was not)
    you fear that what happened with other leaf prospects could happen (primarily brad boyes)
    the difference is regardless of how anton stralman develops on another team, he had no future in the leaf orginization and was doomed to failure regardless
    he was not going to unseat white, kaberle, schenn, beauchimin, komisarek and maybe even exelby.
    he would not have got the time he needed to develop properly on the team and as such burke deemed him expendable and got a 2nd for him (a good price for a prospect who hasnt really done anything in the NHL)
    while we cant trade young talent away, we also cant keep prospects who wont develop on our team. its pointless and it limits our other potential prospects by giving on too much time
    i will disagree on the fact that stralman could hurt the leafs.
    its incredibly unlikely that stralman will be able to grab a spot from Bouwmeester, Phaneuf, Regehr, Sarich, Giordano, Pardy (all who are signed for at least two more seasons). And he will only be able to challenge for a spot on the big team if he can pass Negrin, Baldwin, Pelech, Aulie, Brodie and even Erixon. Thats a lot of hurdles to hop to becoming that huge mistake you fear. Dont worry about it. It isnt happening.

  28. nordiques100 says:

    maybe stralman asked to be moved. thats a very good possibility for the point you raised. he was the 7th guy. if this guy wanted a full time job, he wasnt getting it in toronto from what he could see and thus maybe asked to be moved.

    the deal is fair. stralman for a 2nd. there wasnt much more you could get for him and if he remained as the 7th, likely even 8th guy here, where would his value be as time goes on? dwindling.

    forget the waivers and all that other stuff. you asked if people wanted stralman or chelios and to be honest.

    ok, what if i ask you this: stralman or white?

    knowing you have kaberle back and van ryn still here, you have 2 quality PP point men and good puck movers.

    knowing beauchemin, komisarek and schenn (along with kaberle) are 20-25 minute players, you thus need the right fits on the team to round out the bottom end, fill in roles and be quality depth guys.

    white fits that mold a 100 times better than stralman.

    white proved last year that in a pinch he can play forward. in a pinch he can log 25 minutes a game and play special teams. white has shown to be a solid puck moving blueliner which stralman is, with stralman maybe having more skills offensively, albeit slightly more.

    and white has a bit of gumption in his game where he can play with snarl and grit (ask ilya kovalchuk) which has endeared him to wilson and burke.

    now granted, white is still in a dogfight for a regular job as 1 season means little if you cant make it 2 good years. but i love his character, the team player he is and his heart.

    i believe that was the option. white or stralman and burke moved stralman and got good value for him.

    yes yes, people including me, say dump finger or frogren or ship out van ryn, but at the end of the day, when it came down to finally creating space on D, a cheaper, younger dman was in demand and it was white or stralman who were up.

    burke, in maybe his pro north american bias, chose white.

    yeah, maybe at the end of the day stralman turns into an ok player. but today, he's a depth guy and you just said so yourself saying he could be the 7th guy.

    so try embracing the move instead of making it the 1st coming of kurvers for niedermayer.

  29. nordiques100 says:

    yes you are so right. must let go of stralman considering his future was spinning his wheels here in toronto.

    just like carlo and steen. after a while, it just didnt happen.

    in this case however, the leafs landed a 2nd. a solid return.

  30. leaffaninva says:

    He'd make a great mentor for Scheen

  31. I-BE-LEAF says:

    Charlie Scheen?  Ya, good idea.  I heard he's had issues with halitosis in the past… he could really use a Mentos.

  32. HABSSTAR says:

    I want him back in Montreal. 

    I want him to wear the C too, like he should have been doing for all these years. 

    Hell I want a time machine to go back in time and kick Serge Savard thus halting him from sending Chelios to the Hawks. 

  33. TheLeafNation91 says:

    Would it be THAT bad. Whats wrong with signing him cheaply…Playing him once every 5 games. What a GREAT mentor he could be for luke Schenn…

    And possibly Komisarek. I wouldn't say its a bad idea.
  34. I-BE-LEAF says:

    I predict Chelios will be bussing tables at his restaraunt by mid-October.

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