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Prepare your old jokes: Chelios returns tonight

Chris Chelios

Former Detroit Red Wings defensman Chris Chelios waves after throwing out the first pitch prior to the Chicago Cubs-Detroit Tigers baseball game Thursday, June 25, 2009, in Detroit. (AP Photo/Paul Sancya)


This just in: Chris Chelios is old.

No, but really, it’s official: Chelios will put an Atlanta Thrashers jersey on his old yet far-from-brittle bones and play in an NHL game at the (what’s the opposite of tender? Burnt, maybe?) age of 48. The Atlanta Journal-Constitution shares this amusing tidbit:

“Eight Thrashers were not born when Chelios made his NHL debut. They are - Ondrej Pavelec, Zach Bogosian, Boris Valabik, Evander Kane, Bryan Little, Niclas Bergfors, Tobias Enstrom and Clarke MacArthur.”

By now, you’ve probably read a lot of the “old” jokes (David Staples has a Twitter gallery of them here) or you may have heard a bunch of them already anyway. Let’s face it: Chelios being an old hockey player is so worn out that it’s joined the Exhausted Sports Punchlines club with the likes of Brett Favre’s retirement flip-flopping, the Sharks being playoff chokers and Tiger Woods sexing his way through America’s elite skank ranks.

Aside from the mere fact that he really is that old, it shouldn’t be that surprising that he’s coming back. Chelios is renowned for his maniacal workout regimen and while he ended up being an occasional scratch for the Detroit Red Wings, he could feasibly be an acceptable bottom pairing guy for a weak sister club. You know, like the Thrashers.

So dust off your long-in-the-tooth Chelios quips and enjoy the slow moving show; he’s back against the Columbus Blue Jackets tonight.