When you call him an author, Hall of Fame defenseman Chris Chelios laughs.
“It doesn’t sound right, that’s for sure. I still don’t consider myself an author. (USA Today writer) Kevin Allen’s the author but obviously I’m the subject,” Chelios said before the Wolves beat the Rockford IceHogs 2-1 on Saturday night.
“So far it’s been a real positive experience acknowledging my friends and family, teammates, and the people of Chicago who I grew up with. A few of them have gotten back to me. It’s been a real nice feeling.”
Chelios, who’s been a frequent guest this season at Allstate Arena to watch his son Jake play defense for the Wolves, signed copies of his memoir Made In America before the game. The book, released earlier this month, is one that other than some passages about former teammate Brendan Shanahan, doesn’t have many criticisms of people he ran across.
Instead, Chelios said the book was written (after more than a few requests) so he could share his story and tell his side of some events during his career. One of those is his 1999 trade from the Blackhawks to the Detroit Red Wings and how he went from not wanting to leave Chicago to asking for a trade to joining the Hawks’ arch rival.
“Getting things off my chest, when I was traded (from) Chicago it’s tough that it’s done behind closed doors,” Chelios said, “but I thought this was the appropriate time to let the public know and my fans know what happened.”
The road Chelios took to stardom is well-known. He went from getting cut from the team at United States International University to eventually finding his way to the University of Wisconsin and from there the NHL, where he won three Stanley Cup titles and took the Norris Trophy three times.
“It’s simple reading. I was hoping the kids would get a nice message out of it,” Chelios said. “When you face adversity… with a little hard work and some luck and you get your opportunity, anything can happen.”
That even includes becoming a published author, something his son is still trying to get used to.
“I don’t think he knew he was going to be a published author. I know he enjoyed writing it,” Jake Chelios said. “Obviously he’s got a lot of stories throughout that career. It’s good to get that out there, just kind of see how he came to where he was.”
Chelios will have another signing before the Dec. 20 Wolves game.