By Chris Kuc
12:20 PM PDT, August 1, 2011
Former Chicago Blackhawks defenseman Chris Chelios was named to the U.S. Hockey Hall of Fame on Monday.
The Evergreen Park native, who attended Mt. Carmel High School, played 26 seasons in the NHL, a span of 1,651 games before retiring following the 2009-10 season. Chelios played nine seasons with the Hawks and is three-time Norris Trophy winner as the league's top defenseman and was a four-time Olympian. Chelios also played for the Montreal Canadiens, Detroit Red Wings and Atlanta Thrashers.
"I played so long and people talked about it but now that I’ve been inducted … it’s pretty hard to believe," Chelios said. "I couldn't have been more excited than when I got the call. My family friends, coaches … they’re as excited as I am about it. USA hockey has come a long way."
Chelios, an 11-time NHL All-Star, is the all-time leader in games played by a defenseman in NHL history. The second-round draft pick (40th overall) in the 1981 NHL Entry Draft of the Canadiens won three Stanley Cups and a silver medal with the U.S. Olympic Men’s Ice Hockey Team in Salt Lake City in 2002 and an NCAA national championship with the University of Wisconsin in 1983.
Another former Hawks player, Gary Suter, was also named to the Hall of Fame. Suter played with the Hawks for four-plus seasons.
"You have dreams of growing up and someday making it to the Hall of Fame and I’m truly honored and humbled to be joining the U.S. Hockey Hall of Fame class of 2011," Suter said.
Other inductees to be enshrined into the Hall this fall in Chicago are Mike Emrick, Ed Snider andKeith Tkachuk.
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