Chelios named to U.S. Hockey Hall of Fame

                                                                                                                                                                                                   
  • Chris Chelios finished his playing career with the the Chicago Wolves during the 2009-2010 season. He officially retired last August.

      Chris Chelios finished his playing career with the the Chicago Wolves during the 2009-2010 season. He officially retired last August. BILL ZARS | Staff Photographer

 
 
Updated 8/2/2011 2:47 PM

Chris Chelios must wait two more years before his slam-dunk induction into the Hockey Hall of Fame, but the former Blackhawks defenseman on Monday got a taste of what it's going to feel like.

Chelios, one of the NHL's all-time great defensemen, was named to the U.S. Hockey Hall of Fame along with four others, including former Hawks defense partner Gary Suter.

 

"I played so long and people talked about it, but now that I'm being inducted, it's pretty hard to believe," Chelios said.

Chelios played 26 seasons, until he was 48, and appeared in 1,651 games, more than any defenseman in NHL history. He won three Stanley Cups and three Norris Trophies.

"He's the Godfather of U.S. hockey," said Keith Tkachuk, who was honored by USA Hockey on Monday with Chelios and Suter.

Also named to the U.S. Hockey Hall of Fame with Chelios, Suter and Tkachuk were broadcaster Mike Emrick and Philadelphia Flyers owner Ed Snider.

Suter played 17 seasons, including parts of five with the Hawks. Tkachuk is one of only four American-born players to score 500 goals in the NHL.