Pearl Jam tells Chris Chelios news of Blackhawks jersey retirement

ByABC News
September 8, 2023, 12:49 AM

Hall of Fame defenseman Chris Chelios will have his No. 7 jersey retired by the Chicago Blackhawks in a pregame ceremony at the United Center on Feb. 25, 2024, it was announced Thursday night.

The news was revealed during a Pearl Jam concert at United Center. Chelios, who is a good friend of the band's frontman, Eddie Vedder, was brought on stage for the surprise announcement.

Chelios, who retired from the NHL in 2010 after 26 seasons, will be honored before the Blackhawks host the Detroit Red Wings. He played nine seasons in Chicago and 10 in Detroit.

"We are entering a new era of Blackhawks hockey on the ice, but the importance of honoring past members of this organization is, and always will be, a priority," Blackhawks chairman and CEO Danny Wirtz said. "Chris Chelios represents not only the Blackhawks, but, given his roots here, the city of Chicago."

Wirtz said that his father, Rocky, the former Blackhawks owner and chairman who died in July, wanted Chelios "to be the next Blackhawk to have his jersey retired and would have loved to see this moment."

"We look forward to celebrating Chris' career in February with his family, friends, and sharing it all with Blackhawks fans," Wirtz said.

Chelios, 61, won three Stanley Cup titles during his career -- one with the Montreal Canadiens and two with the Red Wings. He also played briefly for the Atlanta Thrashers.

Chelios won the Norris Trophy three times as the NHL's top defenseman and was inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame in 2013.