Chris Chelios

Chris Chelios' jersey retirement, Patrick Kane's return highlight Feb. 25 game

Chelios and Kane highlight what will be a historic day at the United Center

NBC Universal, Inc.

On Feb. 25, the Blackhawks will host the Detroit Red Wings for a regular season game at the United Center.

But what appears to be an ordinary game between a classic rivalry will most certainly be far from ordinary. Three events will transpire that will make that Sunday evening extraordinary for Blackhawks fans.

Chris Chelios Jersey Retirement

Starting at 3:10 p.m., the Blackhawks will honor Chris Chelios --- who played for both the Blackhawks and the Red Wings --- by sending his No. 7 jersey into the rafters next to the Blackhawks' all-time greats.

The first 10,000 fans to the United Center will earn a replica No. 7 jersey banner in his honor. The Cheli's Chili pop-up will also be up and running. It's an indirect nod to the famous Cheli's Chili bar owned by Chelios originally located on Madison St.

“Chris Chelios is one of the greatest American-born players who’s truly ‘Chicago’s Own,’” said Jaime Faulkner, President of Business Operations for the Chicago Blackhawks. “He’s not a traditional guy, so of course we had to go the non-traditional route in honoring him, which is why we announced his retirement at the Pearl Jam concert. This is how we envision bringing jersey retirement ceremonies to life moving forward – through unique and creative executions. He represents one of the most important eras in Chicago sports history and there is a tremendous amount of cool cultural context and 90s nostalgia that our fans know and love him for – including a nod to his once beloved restaurant that fans of the younger generation can experience for the first time at our home games leading up to the ceremony."

Patrick Kane Returns

The game also represents Patrick Kane's first time at the United Center since being traded to the New York Rangers precisely one year and four days prior to the Feb. 25 game. His last game at the United Center was when the Blackhawks played the Las Vegas Golden Knights at home on Feb. 21.

He played the rest of the 2022-23 season out with the Rangers before signing with the Detroit Red Wings earlier this season. This season, through 20 games, Kane has seven goals and 10 assists to his name.

Kane will surely earn a huge standing ovation from the United Center crowd in attendance.

Connor Bedard ... returns?

Connor Bedard's return from his fractured jaw is starting to materialize. This past Monday, he hit the five-week mark since being given a six-to-eight-week timeline to return from the injury.

He doesn't have a specific game setup for return quite yet. But when asked about returning for the Detroit game on Feb. 25, head coach Luke Richardson was hopeful Bedard could face the previous Blackhawks No. 1 pick (Kane) before him.

"That would be exciting," Richardson said. "Knowing him, he'll try to get back before which would be great. But we're just going to leave it as is and in the doctor's hands until next Monday to kind of go from there."

Bedard will be wearing a face shield upon his return.

"Yeah, for a while, for sure," Richardson said. "I don't know how long, but I mean, I think till he feels comfortable and the doctors feel comfortable."

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