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Detroit — Chris Chelios will be coaching next season and not just for one team — but two.

Chelios, 53, Wednesday was named an assistant coach for the 2016 U.S. national junior team that will compete in the 2016 world junior championships in Helsinki, Finland, working with the USA defensemen.

Chelios will also have a role on new Red Wings' coach Jeff Blashill's staff, similar to what Chelios has done the last three seasons in Grand Rapids, working with the defense.

"Having been with Blash in Grand Rapids the last few seasons, being able to work with guys we have, I'm really excited about this opportunity," Chelios said. "Maybe this is the first step (to a larger coaching role)."

General manager Ken Holland said he and Chelios have talked extensively about a similar role with the Red Wings, and working with the defensemen.

Holland believes the junior team position is a great opportunity for the Hall of Fame defenseman.

"He gets a chance to work with good young players, network, and it's an outstanding tournament," Holland said.

The fact the USA national team has moved its operations to Plymouth gives Chelios easy access to monitoring the players, and Chelios will not be away from the Red Wings organization for any length of time until training camp in December.

There's a two week training camp preceding the world junior tournament beginning around Christmas.

"It came out of nowhere, but talking with Jimmy (Johannson, executive director for USA Hockey) and the people involved, getting permission from Kenny, I just felt it was a great opportunity," Chelios said. "It's going to be a great experience and I'm very much looking forward to it."

Former NHL coach Ron Wilson is the U.S. junior head coach with former Grand Rapids Griffins coach Danton Cole also named one of Wilson's assistants along with Kevin Reiter.

Chelios played in the world juniors in 1982.

Holland would like to have his entire coaching staff under Blashill completed by the end of the week, but with organizational meetings taking up so much time this week, it could linger until the start of next week.

It's expected Tony Granato will remain in one of the assistant positions after he declined offers from Toronto and Buffalo.

ted.kulfan@detroitnews.com

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