Still going strong

Chris Chelios of the Detroit Red Wings picked up a minor penalty for roughing late in the first period of a 1-0 win over the Colorado Avalanche on Tuesday night.

With nearly 3,000 penalty minutes in his career, that's nothing earth-shattering. Except the player he tangled with was born the season Chelios took the ice as an NHL rookie.

Chelios logged just over 15 minutes against Detroit's long-time nemesis, and at 45 years, 348 days old, moved past Moe Roberts to become the second-oldest player in an NHL regular-season game. The three-time Norris Trophy winner now only trails the legendary Gordie Howe, who played his final game with the Hartford Whalers on April 6, 1980 -- six days after turning 52.

"I had to smile when they announced it," Colorado coach Joel Quenneville said. "(Chelios) grabbed his back like an old timer. I give him credit for that."

Want more numerology? Chelios is three years and four days older than the league's next-oldest player, teammate Dominik Hasek, who turns 43 on Jan. 29. The six-time Vezina Trophy winner turned aside 19 Avalanche shots for his second straight shutout and 79th of his career.

Red Wings coach Mike Babcock is one year, 94 days younger than Chelios.

Chelios' latest combatant was Cody McCormick, a third-year forward who was born April 18, 1983. Chelios was picked 40th overall in the 1981 NHL draft, joined the Montreal Canadiens in the 1983-84 season for 12 games.

Later traded to his hometown Chicago Blackhawks, Chelios won was honored three times as the league's top defenseman before being dealt to the Red Wings in 1999. He's eighth on the all-time list with 1,587 games played, and would break Howe's record sometime late in 2009-10.


1. Chris Chelios, Detroit Red Wings: Reaches another milestone as the second-oldest player to play in an NHL game. Still needs 190 games, though, to break Gordie Howe's mark of 1,767 games played from 1946-1980.

2. Dominik Hasek, Detroit Red Wings: Another shutout for the greybeard. Hasek makes 19 saves to extend his scoreless streak in a 1-0 win over Colorado. Hasek, who turns 44 on Jan. 29, hasn't given up a goal in more than 134 minutes.

3. Andy McDonald, St. Louis Blues: McDonald had two goals and an assist to spur the Blues to a 6-1 rout of the Columbus Blue Jackets. It was the first time McDonald found the back of the net since scoring on Dec. 16 in his debut after being acquired from the defending Stanley Cup champion Anaheim Ducks.

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