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Red Wings Chiarot, Chelios Are Old Teammates

Defensemen played together with the AHL Chicago Wolves



Ben Chiarot, Red Wings
Red Wings defenseman Ben Chiarot made his pro debut as a teammate of Chris Chelios.

When the Detroit Red Wings play in Chicago on Sunday, they’ll be on hand to see the Blackhawks retire the No. 7 jersey worn by Chris Chelios.

Many of the Detroit players are more likely to remember Chelios from his tenure with the Red Wings from 1999-2009. But only Red Wings defenseman Ben Chiarot will be able to recollect on that time when he and Hall of Famer Chelios were playing for the same team.

“You want to hear something crazy?” Chiarot asked. “I was teammates with Chris Chelios.”

The two teamed up briefly with the AHL Chicago Wolves in 2009-10. Chairot was 18 and Chelios was 47.

“He was signed with Atlanta and he was going back and forth between Chicago Wolves and Atlanta for a bit,” Chiarot explained. “The Chicago Wolves was Atlanta’s farm team. I was an Atlanta pick.

“My junior season ends. I got up to the Chicago Wolves and a 47 year old Chris Chelios was on the team. And I was there with him.”

Chiarot, Evander Kane of the Edmonton Oilers and Zach Bogosian of the Minnesota Wild are the only active NHLers who were teammates of Chelios.

It all still seems surreal to Chiarot.

“It was unreal,” he said. “He was super nice. Jacked, shredded like awesome. I was in the room with Cheli, working out with him, practicing with him. He’d have his helmet on up around the back of his head. It was unbelievable. Crazy.”

Chelios Offers Helping Hand To Chiarot

Despite his stature in the game, the former Norris Trophy winner willingly lent his years of experience in helping the younger players grow their games.

“He was super nice,” Chiarot said. Chelios was also in charge.

“He ran the room,” Chiarot said. “We’d have team dinners and he’d be sitting there with the owners and the coaches. He was pretty cool.”

Chiarot saw action in one game for the Wolves that season, in part thanks to Chelios.

“I got to play my first pro game, because Cheli got sent down from Atlanta and instead of going right to Chicago to play the last game of the season, he came back to Detroit to see his family. So I played against the Grand Rapids Griffins.”

Chiarot doesn’t plan to seek out his old teammate and offer congratulations on Sunday.

“I don’t know if he’d rememmber me,” Chiarot said. “It was a really short time. And I’m sure he’s got a million other people to see (on Sunday).”