Chicago Blackhawks: Whose Number Should Be Retired Next?

Now that Blackhawks legend Chris Chelios' jersey has been retired, who could be next in line?
Chicago Backhawks v Toronto Maple Leafs
Chicago Backhawks v Toronto Maple Leafs / Graig Abel/GettyImages
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Retired Chicago Blackhawks legend Chris Chelios saw his jersey number raised to the rafters last week. One of the more fascinating aspects of his career is that Chelios only played nine seasons in Chicago and won all three of his Stanley Cups elsewhere. That's not to diminish his accomplishments in Chicago as Chelios, arguably the greatest American-born NHL player ever, was part of a Blackhawks core that made the Cup Final once and was consistently competitive.

Chelios influenced Chicago sports fans of a certain generation to become Hawks and/or NHL fans. It's also not lost on fans that he is from Chicago, making whatever success he saw with the Hawks feel that much more meaningful.

Seeing Chelios's ceremony last week, one has to wonder which Blackhawks might also get their jerseys retired. Given my age, the focus here will be on players from the '90s, early 2000s, and the Cup run that began in 2009-2010.

One note: A lot of key players from the Cup run didn't make the list. Why?

Because jersey retirement is pretty selective. Perhaps someday, legacy franchises will make it more of an honorary thing to avoid running out of available numbers, but for now, it tends to be permanent unless a living former player gives a newer player permission to wear the number.

So there will be some key names that should be in the Hawks Ring of Honor, should one ever be created, but probably didn't do enough while wearing a Hawks' sweater to justify having their number retired.

I am also referring to on-ice play here -- whether the involvement of players in off-ice controversies or scandals should factor into any decision to retire a number is debatable but for this article, let's stick to on-ice accomplishments.

Let's take a look at the potential candidates.