Kelly Chase was a legend in St. Louis. Every team passed on him in the NHL Entry Draft, but the Blues decided to take a shot at him, and boy, was that a great decision. With his tough play style, Chase became a huge fan favorite in St. Louis. He wasn’t scared of anyone and fought some of the toughest guys the league has ever seen.
But one time, he actually declined to even step on the ice—and it almost cost him a trade to Montreal. Chase didn’t get to play much in a game against the Detroit Red Wings in the early 90s. Detroit scored a second empty-netter to decide the game with 20 seconds left, and Chase’s coach at the time, Bob Berry, wanted him to play for the first time that night.
Detroit had players like Bob Probert and Troy Crowder on the ice, and Chase simply told him no.
”I think I fought Bob Probert nine times. I wasn’t scared, it was just embarrassing to both me, the team, everyone, if I took a game,” he said on the Missin Curfew podcast.
”I said, ’No, I’m not going out there.’ And he goes, ’What’d you say?’ He’s yelling at me and I said, ’You go out there. I watched you play when I grew up, you wouldn’t go out there.’ So I went into the locker room.”
Bob Berry followed Chase to the locker room, and in the meantime, Chase’s teammates fought Bob Probert and Troy Crowder.
”I felt awful because I wasn’t out there.”
When Chase was half undressed, Bob Berry came into the locker room and started screaming at Chase.
”I’ve had it. I’m so angry but so emotional. I throw my skate at him. He does a U-turn and I go after him. Shanahan grabs me and basically tackles me.”
Bob Berry happened to be the assistant GM at this time, and that was unfortunate for Chase.
”I know I’m in deep shit. It’s trade deadline, we have a day off, it’s beautiful in St. Louis so we’re gonna go golfing. Hull wanted to play golf, but I told him better hang around.”
Chase was sure he was about to be traded, but Brett Hull convinced him that wasn’t the case. No way they’ll trade Chase, he thought.
”So we go play, and at the turn, I get a call from office that I need to come in.”
Chase learned he would be traded to Montreal and immediately drove to the office.
”I told Hull about it and he goes, ’Bullshit! Just get in the cart, they’re not trading you.’ I said, ’I’m going down the office, I’ll come back or I’ll send someone to pick you up,’ I drive down to the office, and I walk in.”
At the office, Chase met with Ron Caron, Blues’ General Manager.
”He said, ’Ah, you’re lucky, because I just talked to your guy, and he told me that if you go to Montreal, he’s going with you. And we can’t have that.’ He goes, ’You can’t throw your skate at the coaches. But you’re lucky.’”
Caron happened to be friends with Montreal coach Serge Savard, so they managed to resend the trade—and everything because of Brett Hull, who threatened the Blues to keep Chase.
”I can’t believe what just happened! I get in my car, I drive back to to the golf course, and Hull goes, ’I told you!’ That’s how I was treated by Hully. He appreciated Twister and I. He always gave us credit for shit.”