Chris Chelios and Ted Lindsay share something in common besides their Red Wings jerseys.
Actually they share many things in common. They're both among the greatest players of their eras and of all time. They're both Stanley Cup champions, and one day Chris Chelios will join Ted Lindsay in the Hockey Hall of Fame.
But their commonality I'm referring to is both players took a stand that resulted in changing the National Hockey League forever. Now that's quite the legacy.
In Ted Lindsay's case he was the driving force behind the original movement to create the National Hockey League Players association. The movement was squashed by tyrannical owners of the 1950s, but the groundswell could not be denied. Lindsay paid dearly for taking his stand, and his legacy is all about his quest more than it is about him being one of the all time greats.
Since the lost season in 2005, Chris Chelios has taken his own stand, which no doubt you've heard of. Chelios is question NHLPA practices and leadership, drastically altering the way the PA does its business. Jame Mirtle has it all nicely archived on his valuable site. It will take some time to find out all of the repercussions and legacies involved in Chelios' stand. I suspect we'll get the first taste in the next CBA negotiations.
A lot of hockey fans weren't too pleased with Chelios when he started his at times consuming public rants about it all. Fans just went through a season with hockey, and they were tired of hearing about the business of hockey. Drop the puck they said, but Chelios has kept it all in the front page headlines.
I think everyone now realizes how important it is that Chelios did make this stand, much like we now realize how important it was that Lindsay made his stand some 50 years ago. Imagine if they didn't make their stand.
This week at Greatest Hockey Legends.com I'm saluting five players who made a stand and made a difference. Monday I'm headlining "Terrible Ted" Lindsay, who also just happens to be the newest biography around here, and his drive to better serve the NHL players.
Every day this week I'll profile another player who made a difference off the ice. I'll look at a player who cause the NHL's first labour dispute way back in 1925. I'll look at more modern players after that, including a player who forever altered the NHL draft, a player who fought his country's oppressive government, and finally a brand new biography about recently retired player who wanted to choose where he worked instead of being told where he worked.
I hope you enjoy Taking A Stand week here at Greatest Hockey Legends.com