Nov 8, 2013; Toronto, Ontario, CAN; 2013 Hockey Hall of Fame inducteesBrendan Shanahan
(left) andChris Chelios
(right) prior to the start of the game between the New Jersey Devils and Toronto Maple Leafs at the Air Canada Centre. Mandatory Credit: John E. Sokolowski-USA TODAY Sports
No. 1: Chris Chelios
Though it has been 16 years since Chelios last wore a Blackhawks’ jersey, the impact he left still remains fresh in minds of fans, no matter if they were around to see him or not. Chelios became a hockey immortal in 2013, when he was inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame in his first year of eligibility. Chelios was already well-established in his career when he was traded to the Blackhawks, in a move that sent fellow legend Denis Savard to the Montreal Canadiens.
Over the next nine years, Chelios would not only lay the foundation for his career to go down as the best of all time, but sign, seal and deliver it. Though he played for another decade (even though it was for the Detroit Red Wings), Chelios was there to guide the Blackhawks through their most consistent stretch of seasons to date, and he was captain of the Blackhawks during their 1998 season, in which they missed the playoffs by five points, the first time they were out of the postseason in 29 years.
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The Blackhawks were a team well on track without Chelios, but he still transformed them into not only a perennial playoff team, but a Stanley Cup contender year in and year out. Though Chelios never did win a Stanley Cup with the Blackhawks, he was instrumental in their 1992 Cup Final run, and the two James Norris trophies he won along the way showed just how dominant a defenseman could be in his prime.
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