Explaining the Greatness of Chris Chelios to the Younger Generation of Chicago Blackhawks Fans

For the younger part of the Millennial generation and everyone in Generation Z and Alpha, you never got a chance to see Chelios be a dominant blue-line force for the Chicago Blackhawks. You might have also jumped on the bandwagon in 2010 (which is fine) and did not know much about Chelios before then.

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For someone like me, who is a Xennial (or begrudgingly, an elder Millennial), Chelios was probably one of your favorite Hawks players growing up.

For those who were already adults in the 1990s, Chelios was part of a collection of talent that kept the winning ways of the previous decade going until owner Bill Wirtz decided to not pay to keep them together.

Either way, we loved Chelios.

He was a superstar. The man had a cameo in Mighty Ducks 2. The guy hung out with Michael Jordan and Wayne Gretzky.

More importantly, he was THE superstar on a Blackhawks team that had a collection of them during the 1990s. The Hawks had Ed Belfour, Jeremy Roenick, and eventually Tony Amonte. It was Chelios who always had the biggest spotlight.

Maybe it was because he was Chicago-born and bred. I remember catching a Cubs-White Sox game at Wrigley Field in 2003 and Chelios sang "Take Me Out to the Ball Game" during the seventh-inning stretch. Sox and Cubs fans alike were going crazy for him even though he was with the Red Wings. A guy behind me even shouted that out and was quickly shunned by the rest of the section.

You may have even cried when Mario Lemieux, Jaromír Jágr, and the rest of the Pittsburgh Penguins denied him a chance to win the Stanley Cup for his hometown team in 1992. You may have started to become indifferent to the Hawks the moment he was traded to Detroit because owner Bill Wirtz was not going to pay him the money he deserved on his next contract. You saw Steve Larmer, Roenick, and Belfour all get traded because of Wirtz's frugalness, and then out went Chelios.

Then making it worse, he won Stanley Cups with "Detroit Sucks!" That easily helped the fan base become apathetic towards the Hawks until Bill's death.