Friday Night Fights: Chaser
If you have ever been to Carver Arena in Peoria, IL to watch a sporting event (and unless you're Hockeenight readers Bacon Sandwich or Gil Gunderson there's no reason you should have been), you may notice that the Peoria Rivermen have some retired numbers up on the wall. Those numbers are 9 for Doug Evans, who spent 12 years playing for the team; #6 for legendary NHL enforcer Tony Twist, and #22 for Kelly Chase who...zuh?
I'm not sure what Chase did in Peoria to curry such favor (he played only 109 games for the Rivermen over the course of 3 seasons) and spent a decade as a middling enforcer for the St. Louis Blues and Hartford Whalers in the NHL. Maybe it was Chase's charity work that won the people of Peoria over, or maybe his quick wit. My favorite Chase story is from the 1993-94 season. In a game against Winnipeg, Brendan Shanahan took a particularly vicious high-stick from Keith Tkachuk. Shanny retreated to the locker room to have his lip sewn back on with 52 stitches. When his teammates came into the locker room for intermission, he decided to have Kelly assess the damage.
"How do I look?" Shanahan asked.
"More chicks for Chaser" was the reply.
Despite being a mere 5'11" and 200 lbs. Chaser had no problem taking on much bigger men. Tonight's fight is a 1992 bout he had at the old Stadium with Stu Grimson, to whom he gave away 4 inches and 40 lbs., yet he still hangs in and holds his own. After Chase survives the Reaper's initial barrage he manages to get a few good shots of his own in. Then he hangs on for dear life and manages to dodge a punch that Grimson seemingly intended to kill him with.
Fight with Stu Grimson and live? Much as I hate to say it about a St. Louis Blue, the guy's okay in my book.