Just last month it was announced that Detroit Red Wings legend Chris Chelios would be leaving his assistant coaching position with the team to take on a new role with the NHL Players’ Association. Now, less than a month later Chelios has left that gig and is back with the Wings. What’s going on here? Why the flip flopping and game of musical chairs?
Chelios cleared up the matter when speaking with Bob Duff of HockeyBuzz, saying “Basically I took a leave of absence, they call it a termination, which is kind of a harsh word. But I took a leave of absence so I could talk to the PA (Players’ Association), talk to players and see if there’s anything that might be able to find something I might want to do.”
Clearly, Chelios didn’t feel he could help the NHLPA enough to leave his situation with the Red Wings. While the move may seem curious from the outside, it makes sense that the team would officially terminate Chelios’ employment before getting involved with the players’ union. As an NHLPA representative, Chelios no doubt was receiving information from players on opposing teams, information that he could have shared with the Red Wings were he still an employee of the team.
In any case, it appears as though Chelios will be back behind the bench with the Wings in 2017-18.