We’re now into our countdown of former Detroit Red Wings GM Ken Holland‘s best trades during his time in the Motor City. For those of you who missed number five on the list, check out the details of the first three moves on the list:
And that takes us to number one on our countdown, in which a former hated rival became a beloved member of not only the Red Wings, but of the community.
Acquiring Chris Chelios from the Chicago Blackhawks in exchange for Anders Eriksson and two first-round draft picks
As a member of the hated rival Blackhawks, Chelios had been a thorn in Detroit’s side for years and was the player that fans everywhere loved to boo. He even famously stated that he’d never play for Detroit if given the chance.
All that changed when he waived his no trade clause in March of 1999 in order to join Detroit, who were in the midst of a three-peat attempt that unfortunately fell short.
Not only did he instantly mesh with Detroit, but the 37 year old’s career was instantly rejuvenated. He would soon find himself leading the NHL in plus/minus rating during the legendary 2001-02 season as well as helping Detroit to their 10th Stanley Cup championship.
He would continue to play for Detroit through 2009, setting several playing records in the process. Upon retirement in 2010, he joined the Red Wings front office.