5 biggest moments from Chris Chelios' No. 7 jersey retirement at United Center

5 biggest moments from Chris Chelios' No. 7 jersey retirement at United Center originally appeared on NBC Sports Chicago

A new number now hangs in the rafters at the United Center.

Sunday, the Chicago Blackhawks held an emotional and star-studded ceremony to retire Hawks' legend Chris Chelios No. 7 jersey. The surprise retirement announcement came in September from Pearl Jam front man Eddie Vedder, during the band's show at the United Center.

Chelios is the ninth player in Blackhawks history to have his number retired by the organization, joining Glenn Hall (No. 1), Pierre Pilote (No. 3), Keith Magnuson (No. 3), Bobby Hull (No. 9), Denis Savard (No. 18), Stan Mikita (No. 21), Tony Esposito (No. 35) and Marian Hossa (No. 81).

In 664 games with the Blackhawks, Chelios scored 92 goals, notched 395 assists and finished with a +120 plus mins in his Chicago career. While with the Hawks, he earned five All-Star nods and two Norris Trophies.

"Chicago shaped me to be who I am today," Chelios said, during a speech at Sunday's ceremony. "Born and raised on the South Side, you're taught to be humble. You're taught to be respectful. Everybody was hardworking."

Here's a look back at some of the biggest moments from Sunday's ceremony.

Connor Bedard spots Chelios threads ahead of jersey retirement ceremony

18-year-old Hawks phenom Connor Bedard came prepared ahead of Sunday's celebration, arriving to Sunday's game in a Chelios jersey.

The Chicago Blackhawks lost to the Detroit Red Wings 3-2 in overtime on Sunday at the United Center. It was probably one of their best all-around games of the season despite the loss, Hawks' insider Charlie Roumeliotis writes.

From Eddie Vedder to Dennis Rodman: Star-studded guest list

The stars were out for the legend's jersey retirement. The Blackhawks players from the 2010-15 dynasty, Wayne Gretzky, Theo Epstein, Mark Messier, Tie Domi, Eddie Vedder and Dennis Rodman were all in attendance.

So was supermodel Cindy Crawford, who scored a goal during during "shoot-the-puck" at Sunday's game.

Epic vintage tribute video

Initiate time machine? Yes.

The Blackhawks put on a spectacle for Chris Chelios' tribute video ahead of the organization retiring his No. 7 jersey to the rafters. Here's the tribute video they played for Chelios' jersey retirement ceremony.

Chelios tugs at fans' heartstrings with a Patrick Kane tribute

"This guy will go down as the greatest American-born player."

Chelios, during his epic speech ahead of his No. 7 jersey being sent into the rafters, sent a heartfelt message to Patrick Kane, who now plays for the Red Wings after his stint with the Blackhawks, just like Chelios.

"Kaner, Patrick Kane, unbelievable," Chelios said. "That jersey looks kinda funny on you Kaner, but it'll grow on you. And don't worry, it'll work out in the end. You'll be standing here the same as me.

"But just be careful, don't go stealing my thunder today."

Chelios' tribute sent the United Center crowd into a roar, delivering Kane his first tribute of the night. He will most definitely earn another, when the Blackhawks honor his return to the stadium, too.

Kane returned to the United Center for the first time since being traded to the New York Rangers in 2023. He's now with the Red Wings, similar to Chelios' lateral from Chicago to Detroit.

Michael Jordan sends tribute video -- from the golf course

Earlier last week, it was rumored Michael Jordan would be in attendance for Chris Chelios’ jersey retirement ceremony, but he couldn’t make it. The Bulls superstar sent in a video -- from the golf course -- congratulating him.

You can find more moments and stories from Sunday night's event here.

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