The Detroit Red Wings hosted the Calgary Flames in Game 1 of the 2007 Western Conference quarterfinals on April 12, 2007, 77 days after Chris Chelios turned 45 years old.
With 15 minutes of ice time in Detroit’s 4-1 win, Chelios became the second player in NHL history to appear in a Stanley Cup playoff game after turning 45.
Chelios played in 17 more playoff games over the next six weeks and another 20 over the next two years to finish his career with 266 career playoff appearances, 38 of which came after his 45th birthday.
Gordie Howe is the only other player in league history to log playoff minutes after their 45th birthday. And he only did it three times, all at the age of 52 with the Hartford Whalers after a nine-year absence from the NHL.
Chelios did it 38 times.
THIS DATE IN 2007: @DetroitRedWings defenseman Chris Chelios sets an NHL record by appearing in the playoffs for the 22nd year, breaking Ray Bourque's mark of 21 set with Boston and Colorado. Chelios retired with 24 trips to the postseason.#NHLStats: https://t.co/PIUCJGIBSI pic.twitter.com/O5jqvn5zF9
— NHL Public Relations (@PR_NHL) April 12, 2021
Here are other incredible stats from Chris Chelios’ career in the Stanley Cup playoffs:
In his 20th NHL season – and fifth with the Red Wings – Chelios made his 19th playoff appearance.
It was just the second time his team went one-and-done in the playoffs.
After winning 20 of their final 24 regular-season games to win the Central Division and earn the No. 2 seed in the Western Conference, the Red Wings were swept by the Mighty Ducks of Anaheim in the first round.
Chelios was on the wrong end of an opening-round sweep only one other time; the Chicago Blackhawks were swept by the St. Louis Blues in the 1993 playoffs.
600 Minutes in ‘03
Since 2000, 42 players have logged at least 600 minutes in one year of the playoffs. Chelios is the only one to do it at age 36 or older.
He did it at 40 years old.
In 2002, Chelios had 606 minutes of ice time over 23 games in leading the Red Wings to their third Stanley Cup in the last six seasons – and the second of three Cups in his career.
Record Winning Streak
Chelios registered a plus-minus of plus-19 – tied for the 16th-best mark in a single postseason – during the Blackhawks Stanley Cup Final run in 1992. The bulk of his plus-19 came during one of the most dominant playoff runs in league history.
In the Norris Division semifinals, the Blackhawks erased a 2-1 series deficit against the Blues with three straight wins. That was followed by sweeping the Steve Yzerman-led Red Wings and Wayne Gretzky-led Edmonton Oilers.
The 11-game winning streak in a single postseason remains tied for the longest ever.
Chelios had a goal in the first of his 266 career playoff games, the Montreal Canadiens’ 2-1 win over the Boston Bruins in 1984.
It was the first of three straight wins for the Canadiens to open the 1984 playoffs and the first of 21 playoff winning streaks of at least three games for Chelios. Those streaks helped him win 149 career NHL games in the playoffs.
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