The Atlanta Thrashers have given their 48-year-old defenceman Chris Chelios a chance to possibly play again in the NHL. The 11-time All-Star signed a contract with the Thrashers on Tuesday and could be called up from the American Hockey League if needed, said Don Waddell, the general manager. "You never know," Waddell said when asked about the possibility of Chelios joining the Thrashers.
"We have a busy schedule. When you go into a run like this, you like to have 10 defencemen in case you get a couple of injuries." Terms of Chelios's contract were not released. He has played 44 games with the Chicago Wolves, the Thrashers' American Hockey League affiliate, this season and will remain with the Wolves after clearing waivers. Chelios won two Stanley Cup titles with the Detroit Red Wings (2002 and 2008) and one with the Montreal Canadiens (1986). He also played with the Chicago Blackhawks and was a member of four US Olympic teams (1984, 1998, 2002 and 2006).
If he returns to the NHL, he would be the oldest player in the league this season. Gordie Howe holds the record for the oldest to compete in the NHL - he played for the Hartford Whalers during the 1979-80 season at the age of 52. The Penguins acquired the forward Alex Ponikarovsky from the Toronto Maple Leafs in exchange for the defenceman Martin Skoula and the minor-league forward Luca Caputi. The Minnesota Wild have signed their defencemen Marek Zidlicky and Clayton Stoner to contract extensions. Zidlicky received a three-year deal which will run until the end of the 2012-13 season, while Stoner was given two additional years. Zidlicky has five goals and 31 assists in 60 games for the Wild this season.
* With agencies