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July 23, 2007

Chris Chelios and USA's Generation Next

John Niyo of the Detroit News has an amazing article looking into the off-season life of Chris Chelios. I developed muscle cramps just reading about the extreme and almost obsessive work outs the 45 year old Chelios puts himself through to a) cheat Father Time and b) have fun. And all while refusing to use a water bottle.

Chelios may still be an active player, but with 23 NHL seasons, 1500 games, three Norris trophies and two Stanley Cups his status amongst hockey legends is never in question. Therefore I don't mind making an exception of my no-active-players policy.

As far as I'm concerned, Chris Chelios is the greatest American born hockey player of all time. While his generation of Yankee pucksters is gone, a new generation is on the way. And as NHL.com's Shawn P. Roarke finds out, bloodlines are playing a big role in USA's Generation Next.

USA Hockey recently concluded U-17 Select Camp, at the National Hockey Center at St. Cloud State University in St. Cloud, Minn. No fewer than 12 of the players have relatives who are or were associated with the NHL.

The list includes Ed Olczyk's son Tommy, Jim Johnson's son Derik, Craig Ludwig's son C.J., Basil McRae's son Phil, Randy Velischek's son Alex, Chris Pryor's son Nick, Bob Janecyk's son Adam (als0 a goalie), and St. Louis Blues head coach Andy Murray's son Jordan.

Matthew Bruneteau is the son of Ed Bruneteau, a right wing that played 181 NHL games. More famously Matthew’s uncle, “Mud” Bruneteau, played 411 NHL games and scored one of the most famous goals in NHL history when he scored to end the longest overtime game in NHL history back in 1936.

Brice Geoffrion, the younger brother of Nashville prospect Blake Geoffrion, counts NHL alumni Howie Morenz (great grandfather), Bernie “Boom Boom” Geoffrion (grandfather) and Don Geoffrion (father) among his relatives. Morenz and Bernie Geoffrion are both in the Hockey Hall of Fame.

And let's not forget Derek Mohny,a cousin of Hockey Hall of Famer Clark Gillies, or Alex Gaustad who counts current NHLers Paul Gaustad and Ryan Potulny as cousins.

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