The Free Press’s Helene St. James engaged in a Q and A with former Red Wing Chris Chelios. Among the items of note:
How long was the decision to leave Detroit in the making?
CC: Since a few months after my dad passed. My mom gets help from my sister, but the commute just got really old driving back and forth trying to help my sister. Over the years, I’d talked with the Ilitches about it, about returning home at some point. Then after my dad passed, that’s really when I started thinking about it seriously.
The kids also had a bearing on it — I’m an empty nester now. My daughter graduated from Northwestern a few months ago. Two of them are going to be here in Chicago. So it’s basically all family based.
Where do you see yourself in five years?
CC: I’m still not ruling out coaching because so far that’s where I’ve had the most fun. I just have to decide if I want to do it 100 percent — the travel, the grind. That’s the only thing holding me back — and again, my mom, being able to help her out whenever I can. I wasn’t there when my dad passed, I was actually at the rink getting ready for a game. You can’t always be there, but it bothers me a lot that I wasn’t there with my mom when he passed. So we’ll see.
Being president of a team allows you to make your own schedule — you’re working a lot but still, if something comes up, a family matter, you can still make that. That seems like a pretty interesting job to me. Coaching, it’s a lot of hours, and all the instruction with video — to me it’s overkill, but that’s how a lot of young coaches are now.
I’ve never had a partner in the restaurant business and I don’t like being told what to do with my schedule. I listen, but I like being the boss.
Will you keep your restaurant in Detroit?
CC: For now, yes.