ATLANTA (AP) -- The Atlanta Thrashers have assigned 48-year-old defenseman Chris Chelios, an 11-time All-Star, to the Chicago Wolves of the American Hockey League.

Chelios appeared in seven games with the Thrashers after being recalled from Chicago on March 10.

Chelios has played in more NHL games than any other American-born player. He won three Stanley Cups and was a three-time winner of the Norris Trophy as the league's top defenseman.

The Thrashers recalled Chelios last month in hopes he could provide a spark for the team's playoff hopes. Atlanta was eliminated from playoff contention with a loss to New Jersey on Tuesday night.

The Thrashers also assigned forward Tim Stapleton to Chicago.

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