Chris Chelios (Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)
Chris Chelios could be back on an NHL bench next season, this time as an assistant coach. According to a report, Chelios is set to become a Red Wings assistant under new coach Jeff Blashill. In Pittsburgh, the Penguins have received permission to interview former Oilers interim coach Todd Nelson for their AHL coaching job.
53-year-old Chris Chelios may be getting back on the players bench next season with the Detroit Red Wings.
According to TSN’s Aaron Ward, when the Detroit Red Wings finalize their entire coaching staff for the upcoming season, expect to see Chelios named an assistant coach alongside newly minted bench boss Jeff Blashill.
While Ward reported the Chelios announcement could be expected today during Blashill’s introductory press conference, he and Red Wings GM Ken Holland were mum on who would join the coaching staff. Blashill did, however, note that he would like to have his entire coaching staff in place by the end of the week.
If the rumor does come to fruition and Chelios is named an assistant coach, it would be the first coaching job for the Hall of Fame defenseman. For the past several seasons, he has been with the Red Wings organization as the advisor to hockey operations, overseeing prospect development and helping with on-ice issues when need be. In his current role, he also works on the business side of things with the organization, “appearing at games and other functions to interact with fans and potential business partners,” according to the Red Wings.
Before joining Detroit’s front office, Chelios played 578 games for the club, scoring 21 goals and 152 points. In 2001-02 and 2007-08, Chelios was part of Stanley Cup winning teams with the Red Wings and, at age 40, Chelios finished second in Norris Trophy voting behind teammate Nicklas Lidstrom.
In his final professional season, Chelios spent much of the year playing for the Chicago Wolves before signing an NHL deal with the Atlanta Thrashers.
PENGUINS SPEAKING WITH TODD NELSON
Elsewhere, according to Jonathan Bombulie of TribLive.com, the Pittsburgh Penguins have been granted permission by the Edmonton Oilers to speak with Todd Nelson about their vacant coaching position with their AHL club. Former Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins coach John Hynes landed the job as New Jersey Devils coach, opening up the spot for the Penguins’ AHL gig, one which Nelson is probably now considered the frontrunner for.
Nelson has a litany of AHL experience, having spent five seasons as the coach of the Oklahoma City Barons, over which time he took the team to two consecutive conference final apperances. After the firing of Dallas Eakins as Oilers coach, Nelson stepped in on an interim basis, but he was let go when the season ended and Edmonton brought in former San Jose Sharks coach Todd McLellan as their new bench boss.
In 333 career games behind an AHL bench, Nelson amassed a record of 176-111-46.