Monday, October 24, 2016

Kelly Chase Autograph Card

From 1985 until 2000, there weren't many tougher hockey players than Kelly Chase. At any level.

In his three seasons in the WHL (1985-88) with the Saskatoon Blades, Chase was never a point-per-game player, though he fared decently, raising his points totals from 25 to 46 to 55 and his goals totals from 7 to 17 to 21. But it was his penalty minutes totals that impressed the St. Louis Blues enough to sign him as a free agent: 172, 285 and 343.

He wasn't done making an impression on them, however, as he collected 278 penalty minutes - as well as 14 goals and 7 assists for 21 points - in just 38 games with the IHL's Peoria Rivermen in 1988-89, earning a 43-game call-up the following season in which he accumulated 4 points and 244  PIMS.

He spent more time with the Rivermen in 1990-91, as the Blues attempted a Cup run with a core made up of Brett Hull, Adam Oates, Curtis Joseph, Jeff Brown, Scott Stevens, Rod Brind'Amour, Paul Cavallini, Gino Cavallini, and the veteran leadership of Rick Meagher and Harold Snepsts - ultimately falling in the second round. Chase made the most of his time in the IHL that year, spending 406 minutes in the penalty box in 61 games, scoring 20 goals to go with 34 assists (54 points) in the process.

He spent three more years with the Blues, topping the 200-PIM mark every time before the Hartford Whalers claimed him off waivers right before the lockout-shortened 1994-95 season got underway.

After two and a half years in Connecticut and two games with the Toronto Maple Leafs to close off the 1996-97 season, he returned to the Blues for three more seasons to retire in the one uniform that most will remember him by.

Which is, ironically, not the one In The Game chose to feature him in on card #A-HC from their 2012-13 Decades - The 1990s set and Autograph sub-set,which instead shows him wearing the Whalers' final dark blue (away) uniform:
It features a black-sharpied on-card signature.

He won a King Clancy Memorial in his return to the Blues for his community work (mainly the Gateway Special Hockey Program, a program he started in the early 1990s to help those with developmental disabilities participate in organized hockey) and now serves as the team's colour commentator during radio broadcasts.

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