NHL Notebook: Chicago Blackhawks to retire Chris Chelios’ jersey and Philadelphia Flyers add former Edmonton Oilers draft pick, Bob Murray, and Dany Heatley to staff
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10 days ago
The Chicago Blackhawks have announced that they will retire the No. 7 jersey of legendary defenceman and Hall of Famer Chris Chelios on February 25th, 2024, during a pregame ceremony at the United Center.
Chelios, 61, concluded his illustrious NHL career in 2010 after an impressive 26 seasons, matching Gordie Howe’s record for the most seasons played in league history.
The former NHLer’s remarkable career spanned various teams, including seven seasons with the Montreal Canadiens, nine with the Blackhawks, and a decade with the Detroit Red Wings, before concluding with the Atlanta Thrashers. He played 664 games in a Blackhawks jersey, amassing 92 goals and 395 assists. As a Blackhawk, Chelios clinched two of his three coveted Norris Trophies in 1993 and 1996 and secured first-team All-Star honours five times. He also held the privilege of captaining the Blackhawks from 1995 to 1999.
In a statement, Danny Wirtz, the chairman and CEO of the Blackhawks, emphasized the importance of honouring the organization’s storied history.
“We are entering a new era of Blackhawks hockey on the ice, but the importance of honouring past members of this organization is, and always will be a priority,” Wirtz said, adding that Chelios symbolizes not only the Blackhawks but also the city of Chicago itself.
Chelios, the 40th overall pick in the 1981 NHL Draft by the Montreal Canadiens, achieved significant milestones in his career, including three Stanley Cup victories – one with the Canadiens in 1986 and two with the Red Wings in 2002 and 2008. In 2013, he received the ultimate recognition when he was inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame.
Chelios’ jersey retirement was initially announced during a Pearl Jam concert at the United Center on September 5th. Chelios, a close friend of the band’s lead singer, Eddie Vedder, was brought on stage for the surprise revelation.
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Flyers add to hockey department
The Philadelphia Flyers underwent notable changes within their hockey operations department this week as they welcomed two experienced figures to their team. Bob Murray, a seasoned hockey executive, has assumed the role of senior advisor, while former NHL star Dany Heatley has joined as a pro scout.
Another addition to the pro scouting staff was Greg Chase, a 28-year-old Sherwood Park native who the Oilers drafted in the 7th round of the 2013 draft. The nephew of ex-NHL enforcer Kelly Chase, Greg played through the minor hockey ranks with the Sherwood Park Kings AAA club before being selected 22nd overall in the 2010 WHL bantam draft by the Calgary Hitmen. He had a five-year stint in major junior hockey before the Oilers drafted him.
Chase took the 221 points scored in 265 WHL games and turn it into an entry-level contract in 2014. He would spent three years in the Oilers organization between 2015-16 and 2017-18, splitting time between the AHL and ECHL. Most recently, he spent the 2021-22 season with the EIHL’s Fife Flyers where he scored eight goals and 35 points in 46 games, but hasn’t played professionally since.
At 68, Murray brings a wealth of experience to his new position. Previously, he served as the Executive Vice President and General Manager of the Anaheim Ducks until his resignation in 2021 following an investigation by the NHL surrounding his professional conduct. Murray returned to the hockey world in 2022 when the Calgary Flames hired him as a scout.
His tenure with the Ducks organization spanned an impressive 16 years, commencing in the 2005-06 season when he joined as senior vice president of hockey ops. He played a pivotal role in securing a Stanley Cup for the club in 2006-07 and had his expertise recognized in 2013-14 when he was named NHL GM of the Year.
Heatley, 42, will embark on his first-ever NHL-level staffing position with the Flyers, initially reported by The Athletics Charlie O’Connor in July.
The former all-star boasts an impressive playing career spanning 13 seasons in the NHL with the Atlanta Thrashers, Ottawa Senators, San Jose Sharks, Minnesota Wild, and Anaheim Ducks. His iconic achievement of ‘50-in-07’ remains a hallmark of his time in the NHL, but early success in his career saw him win the Calder Trophy in 2001-02 after notching 67 points in 82 games with the Thrashers. Throughout his career, Heatley accumulated 372 goals and 791 points.
Here’s more on the news from Daily Faceoff‘s Colton Davies:
Meanwhile, also joining the scouting staff are former Gatineau Olympiques scout Daniel Tremblay and former NHLer Mike Eastwood, who will replace Dave Brown as Director of Pro Scouting. Eastwood appeared in 738 games with Toronto, Winnipeg, Phoenix, New York Rangers, St. Louis Blues, Chicago Blackhawks and Pittsburgh Penguins. He most recently was a pro scout for the Ducks for the last two years.
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