The Chicago Blackhawks will retire Chris Chelios' No. 7 jersey, the team confirmed late on Thursday night. The surprise news was delivered to the Hockey Hall of Famer on stage by his close friend Eddie Vedder during the Pearl Jam concert at the United Center.
Chelios will have his number retired on Sunday, Feb. 25, 2024 against the Detroit Red Wings, with whom he won two of his three Stanley Cups.
"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 in a statement. "Chris Chelios represents not only the Blackhawks, but, given his roots here, the city of Chicago. Rocky wanted Chris 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.”
"We are thrilled to have Chris Chelios’ number hang forever in the United Center rafters," Blackhawks president of business operations Jaime Faulkner said in a statement. "There is a lot to come for the organization as we celebrate achievements of the many great players who have worn the Blackhawks sweater. With our upcoming Centennial celebration during the 2025-26 season, plans to celebrate our alumni and additional jersey retirements will continue to
emerge as we look forward to sharing that with our fans.”
Chelios will become the ninth player in franchise history to have his number retired, joining Glenn Hall (No. 1), Keith Magnuson (No. 3), Pierre Pilote (No. 3), Bobby Hull (No. 9), Denis Savard (No. 18), Stan Mikita (No. 21), Tony Esposito (No. 35) and Marian Hossa (No. 81).
Chelios spent nine of his 26 NHL seasons in his hometown of Chicago, where he produced 487 points (92 goals, 395 assists) in 664 regular-season games and added 48 points (12 goals, 36 assists) in 65 postseason contests. His 487 points rank fourth among defensemen in franchise history.
During his time with the Blackhawks, Chelios appeared in five NHL All-Star Games, captured two Norris Trophies as the league's top defenseman, and even garnered Hart Trophy votes — for league MVP — in two of the seasons. He also served as the team captain from 1995-99.
Chelios was inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame on Nov. 8, 2013.