The 11-time NHL All-Star defenseman plans to play with the Chicago Wolves of the AHL until the NHL lockout ends
SI: Is it strange not to be in training camp right now?
Chelios: Well, I just got out of the World Cup, so it doesn't seem like I've been out that long. But in another couple of weeks it will hit. It's less of a weird feeling and more of an awful feeling, knowing there's no light at the end of the tunnel right now.
SI: How long do you think the lockout will last?
Chelios: It will either end in January or last the whole year.
SI: Gordie Howe played into his 50s. At 42, how much longer do you see yourself playing?
Chelios: If I wanted to play until I was 45 or 47, I don't think it would be a problem physically. But my family would be a big problem. I can't live away from them. If Detroit wants me to play with the team for years, that would be great. But that's probably the only way for me to continue.
SI: Do NHL players pay attention to declining TV ratings?
Chelios: Sure we do. It bothers us. Especially when you hear that volleyball is getting higher ratings than hockey. Some cities are never going to be into hockey. I think we've let too many teams into the league and that's the biggest problem now.
SI: You're a first generation Greek-American. Are you serious about forming a bobsled team to compete for Greece in the 2006 Olympics?
Chelios: I'm applying now for my Greek passport. It just so happens one of my best friends is big-wave surfer Laird Hamilton. He's Greek and built like an ox. Perfect for pushing a bobsled. We're going to go for a couple of runs this winter and see what happens. Whether it's hockey for the United States or bobsledding for the Greeks, I'm going to get to Italy somehow. --Richard Deitsch
JON KOPALOFF/WIREIMAGE.COM (CHELIOS)
GARY HERSHORN/REUTERS (CHELIOS WAVING)