Blackhawks

Blackhawks name Hall of Famer Chris Chelios their latest team ambassador

Blackhawks name Hall of Famer Chris Chelios their latest team ambassador

After eight seasons with the Detroit Red Wings, Hall of Famer Chris Chelios is coming home.

The Blackhawks announced Monday morning that Chelios will become the newest team ambassador, joining Tony Esposito, Bobby Hull, Stan Mikita and Denis Savard. He'll be formally introduced at the annual Blackhawks Convention this weekend.

“To be able to join the Blackhawks organization in this role means everything to me,” Chelios said in a statement. “I’m very thankful to Rocky Wirtz and John McDonough for this opportunity to return to the Blackhawks. Chicago is my hometown and returning to this organization is very special to me and my family.”

Chelios has spent the last eight seasons in Detroit where he last played, spending time both in the front office and as a player development coach. The Chicago native and Mount Carmel High School alum will return to his roots where he spent nine seasons, earning seven All-Star appearances while compiling 92 goals and 487 assists - both fourth all-time among Blackhawks defensemen - in 664 games. The team captain from 1995 to 1999 helped the Blackhawks to the playoffs seven times, including a Stanley Cup Final appearance in 1992.

“Through multiple generations of players and fans, Chris Chelios will forever be etched into the history of the Chicago Blackhawks,” Blackhawks Chairman Rocky Wirtz said in a statement. “His contributions to our organization and the overall sport of hockey stand tall. We are proud to welcome Chris and his family back home to the United Center and we are honored to call him an ambassador.”

Chelios won three Stanley Cups during his 26-year NHL career, twice Detroit and once with Montreal, and his 1,651 career games are most all-time for defensemen. He won a silver medal with Team USA in 2002 and was an assistant coach at the 2018 Winter Olympics in PyeongChang. He was named to the Hockey Hall of Fame in 2013.

Drake Caggiula looks back on how he could've played with Alex DeBrincat, Dylan Strome in OHL

Drake Caggiula looks back on how he could've played with Alex DeBrincat, Dylan Strome in OHL

Drake Caggiula had a successful college hockey career. He compiled 127 points (62 goals, 65 assists) in 162 career games across four seasons at North Dakota, and served as an alternate captain during his senior year.

But before committing to college, Caggiula was being recruited by the Erie Otters of the OHL and there could've been a moment where he played with Connor McDavid and current teammates Alex DeBrincat and Dylan Strome all at the same time.

“I remember telling Sherry Bassin, the GM of Erie, how I was going to go to college," Caggiula said in an interview with NBC Sports Chicago. "He kept reiterating that, 'at 16 years old, we’re not going to be that great. But at 17, we’re going to be a little bit better, but not great. But at 18 and 19, those are going to be your big years and we’re going to have a really good team and we’re going to surround you with good players.’ I mean, that’s two years in the future so it’s hard to really see that.

"Looking back at it now, the players that I could have played with, they had some pretty talented players go through Erie. Even Dylan Larkin was an Erie draft pick and ended up going to Michigan. It could have been a pretty talented team there so it’s kind of funny to see how it all works out. We’re all here today coming from different paths so it’s pretty cool.”

Any chirps from the guys about his decision now?

“Yeah, Connor [McDavid] used to make fun of me all the time, you know? ‘Oh, we would have won the Memorial Cup if you would have joined the team!’ and all that sort of stuff," Caggiula joked. "We talk about it a little bit just here and there saying, ‘what a team we could have had and imagine who we would have been playing with and now we’re all here together. What if we all would have started in Erie together and now we’re here together?’ It just would have been a pretty cool story. It’s obviously something that we can’t control but it’s definitely something that you can look back at and laugh at.”

Check out the interview in the video above.

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Calvin de Haan on what it will be like to play for former teammate Jeremy Colliton

Calvin de Haan on what it will be like to play for former teammate Jeremy Colliton

When Jeremy Colliton was hired as the Blackhawks head coach in November of 2018, he immediately became the youngest NHL bench boss at age 33. In fact, he was even younger than some of the guys he was coaching (Corey Crawford, Duncan Keith and Brent Seabrook, to name a few).

It was a weird dynamic at first, but quickly normalized once the locker room realized how bright of a hockey mind Colliton had/has.

Calvin de Haan offers a unique perspective. After being acquired by the Blackhawks in the summer, an interesting storyline was brought to light. He and Colliton actually played together during the 2011-12 season with the New York Islanders organization, where Colliton served as the captain of the AHL's Bridgeport Sound Tigers.

While he may not have expected it to come this quickly, de Haan isn't surprised to see Colliton behind an NHL bench at such a young age.

"Looking back on it now, you realize that he has the qualities to be a successful coach," de Haan said in an interview with NBC Sports Chicago. "Smart guy, very methodical I don't envision him being a yeller or a screamer but he was a guy who always kind of spoke and everyone kind of listened. I'm assuming it's going to translate to his coaching style and just judging by his personality you can see why he's climbed the ranks pretty quick. I'm really excited to play for him."

Check out the interview in the video above.

Click here to download the new MyTeams App by NBC Sports! Receive comprehensive coverage of your teams and stream the Blackhawks easily on your device.