September 17, 2014

Tim Cheveldae

Bob Duff of the Windsor Star recently caught up with former Detroit Red Wings goalie Tim Cheveldae. It turns out "Chevy" is now a firefighter with Canada's Department of National Defence at a Canadian Forces base just outside of Saskatoon, Saskatchewan.

Here's some of what Cheveldae told the Windsor Star:

“We’re one of the smaller bases in Canada, but the reason we’re out there is that we hold a lot of Canada’s ammunition,” Cheveldae. “That’s sort of our main job, to protect that.

“We haven’t had a structure fire in years. If we’re going to see fires, it’s usually going to be in the spring and fall and it’s usually going to be wildfires. That’s the busy time for us, the time that we’re going to be fighting fires.

“It’s dry and that’s when they’re bringing in troops and they’re firing guns, and if they have tracer bullets, usually something starts on fire.”

And that’s when they really go to work.

“A lot depends on where it starts burning and where it’s going,” Cheveldae said. “If it’s small, we try to head it off. If not, then we start back burning and creating fire guards.”

That's quite the career change for the former NHL goalie. Cheveldae played in 340 games, mostly with Detroit in the early 1990s but also with Winnipeg and Boston. He posted a 149-136-37-8 career record.

Many fans will remember Cheveldae as Detroit's workhorse goalie (he had seasons of 72 and 67 games played) in the years before the Wings really emerged as Stanley Cup contenders. For all his efforts the team never had much playoff success, forcing them to seek alternatives such as Chris Osgood and Mike Vernon.

But Cheveldae should be remembered as a solid blocking goaltender, He was one of the last of the strict angle goalies who challenged from his crease aggressively. The key to beat him was to get him moving side-to-side.

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