Kelly Chase led the WHL in penalty minutes in 1988-1988, and despite putting up 55 points in 70 games as an enforcer, all NHL teams passed on him in the 1988 Entry Draft.
Later that year, the St. Louis Blues signed him as an undrafted free agent, and what a great decision that turned out to be.
Chase spent the next three years with the Peoria Rivermen of the IHL, but it didn’t take long for him to earn respect from his NHL teammates and become a huge fan favorite in St. Louis.
Chase only played three seasons with the Blues until moving to Hartford, and after three years there, and after only two games with the Toronto Maple Leafs, he was back in St. Louis for another three years before calling it a career.
He played 458 NHL games but still made a lasting mark. He was an old-school enforcer and a beloved teammate, and there was no one in the league that he was afraid of, despite playing in one of the most violent eras in NHL history.
Together with Tony Twist, he formed the ‘St. Louis Bruise Brothers,’ and both weighing in at over 200 pounds and standing at a tall 6 feet, they took no prisoners when they were on the ice.
Twist had a reputation for being one of the best and most violent fighters in the league, and his opponents knew it.
When guesting on the Missin Curfew podcast, former NHLer Chris Pronger revealed a hilarious interaction he had with none other than Tie Domi, seeing Chase playing hockey for the very first time.
”I remember when I turned pro, I was skating with Tie Domi and a few guys in Toronto before I got to Hartford,” Chase said. ”And Chaser was one of the guys that was skating.”
”And I remember talking to Tie because he was a Peterborough Pete like I was, and he’s like, ‘You see that guy right there? Pound for pound, he’s the toughest guy in the league.’ And he was pointing at Chaser, and I’m like, ‘Who the hell is that?’ I didn’t know who he was. He was in the Western Conference; I was in the Eastern Conference.
”And you know, he was kind of up and down from the minors a lot. And I looked at him like, ‘That guy, seriously?’ And I’m telling you now, man, you should’ve seen some of the guys he took down. It was impressive.”