Getting into the US Hockey Hall of Fame was special enough for Chris Chelios. Having the induction ceremony in his hometown makes it even better.
The former Blackhawks defenseman will join fellow former Blackhawk Gary Suter, Keith Tkachuk, Ed Snider and Doc Emrick at the US Hockey Hall of Fame inductions in Chicago on Monday night. For Chelios, its a chance to come full circle.
Not only am I saving all the plane fare and hotel (rates), but Ive gotten so many calls from my old neighborhood, Chelios said Sunday night. I wasnt aware of how many people followed that this was happening this weekend. Its just great to see all the families thats what its all about is the family thing. My whole familys going to have a great time this weekend.
Theres a family feeling among the inductees, too. Chelios, Suter and Tkachuk are longtime friends and were part of that U.S. squad that beat Canada in the 1996 World Cup of Hockeys best-of-three final.
It was really special coming into Canada. You hear all kinds of different stories, but after we won that last game (in Montreal) the streets were empty. Nothing was going on, Suter remembered. Hockeys such religion up there, and to beat them at their own game was a special thing for all the guys lucky enough to be on that 96 team.
Chelios joked he didnt want to give away all of his speech for Monday night, but he also treasures that 96 tournament.
The memory of that is where we took the next step, actually, he said. We always came close, but we were always coming up short in the Canada cups and Olympics. That group, with the (Mike) Modanos and Tkachuks finally got over that hump.
On this week's Under Center podcast, JJ Stankevitz and John “Moon” Mullin look at how Bill Belichick and New England will attack Matt Nagy and the Bears on Sunday, and if Mitch Trubisky can get to the point where he can reliably lead a late-game scoring drive like Tom Brady is so good at doing.
You can listen to the whole thing here, or in the embedded player below:
We all know what Zach LaVine is capable of doing on the offensive side of things. But what about his defense?
It's no secret that LaVine has had his fair share of struggles on defense, but Kris Dunn thinks highly of his 23-year-old teammate and what his potential is at the other end.
"On the defensive end I just told him, 'You're as fast as me. You're more athletic than me. There's no way you shouldn't be a good defender in this league. You could be one of those guys who could be dynamic in the passing lanes because you're so athletic and fast.'" Dunn said of LaVine. "And personally, I like to score. If you get in a passing lane, that's a dunk for yourself and because you've got so much bounce that's when you get the crowd on their feet — maybe do a windmill, a 360, something.
"But I think he's been going a good job on the defensive end. It's not going to be easy. We all got to learn and I think we're all trying."
Improving his defense would obviously be a big step forward for LaVine (and the Bulls), and he knows it.
“I think I had a lot better focus on the defensive end,” LaVine said when assessing his preseason. “I had some mistakes too, but I wanted to go out there and just really hone in on being more focused down there. I felt like I did OK with that. Still some areas I want to get better at, definitely off-the-ball I think I did a lot better than I had before.’’
LaVine and the Bulls travel to Philadelphia to face the 76ers on Thursday night in their season opener. You can watch Bulls Pre- and Postgame Live on NBC Sports Chicago before and after the game for highlights and analysis.