This Chris Chelios “Ultimate Journey” jersey card card is an enigma. It has two swatches of jerseys worn by my favorite player of all time. The left side of the card shows him with the Chicago Blackhawks; the right side, with the Detroit Red Wings.
As a lifelong Blackhawks fan, you can see why I have some problems with this card.
It’s not that I’m necessarily anti-Detroit. Even though I grew up chanting “Detroit sucks!” I am old enough to know better now. The Red Wings have not sucked for nearly 20 years — and I appreciate quality hockey.
My problem is that Chelios’ trade to Detroit broke my heart as a Blackhawks fan. Here, my favorite player — the team captain! — was traded to the ‘Hawks number one rival. That trade ruined hockey for me for a long time.
But eventually, I realized that I was a fan of Chris Chelios, no matter what jersey he wore. And it was great to see him thrive for the next decade in Detroit.
So, a card of Chelios that shows him as a member of both the Blackhawks and the Red Wings will remind me of that trade, and still stir up some sad emotions that I felt 16 years ago.
Yet, I still had to have this card. It looked cool and is of my favorite player.. The card is from the 2014-15 In The Game Ultimate Memorabilia set. It came encapsulated and is a “Silver” version numbered 7/20. Seven is the number that Cheli wore with the ‘Hawks for nine seasons. The insert set it is a part of is called “Ultimate Journey.”
I’m not so sure what was so ultimate about Chelios’ journey to Detroit. Maybe it was that he moved from a sad-sack team that was about to miss the playoffs for two years in a row, to a team that was a perennial contender. He would have gladly played two more seasons in Chicago, then retired, but instead continued for another 11 years and won two more Stanley Cup Championships with Detroit. That’s pretty “ultimate.”
Of course, going to a great team like Detroit was the “shot in the arm” that Chelios needed to reignite his carer. Perhaps playing until age 48 was the “ultimate journey” for Chris Chelios. ■