Enforcers weren’t just fun and entertaining to look at. They were an absolute necessity in the game, and without enforcers on your roster, your team would struggle. During the 80s and 90s, enforcers were just important as the players scoring all the goals.
Wayne Gretzky needed a protector, and so did every star player in the league. And few people have ever done it so good as Kelly Chase. He’s a legend of the St. Louis Blues and was a part of the famous St. Louis Bruise Brothers with fellow enforcer Tony Twist.
Kelly Chase could beat the crap out of anyone, and he often did. And it didn’t even matter if it was on the ice or off it. Chase wasn’t shy from engaging in any conflict, leading to some memorable fighting moments.
Chase grew up in Saskatchewan, just like Wendel Clark, Joey Kocur, and Barry Melrose. They actually played fastball in a team called the toughest team there ever was. They weren’t afraid of anything except…
”The only people we cared about what they thought of us were our parents. Because we were afraid of our parents. From where we’re from, you’re scared of the police, your school teachers, and your parents. And you sure as f*ck shouldn’t get in problem with the first two, because then it would be no fun when you got home,” Kelly Chase said on the Cam&Strick Podcast.
Kelly Chase remembers one specific time when a bar brawl got out of hand.
”We had a huge brawl in a bar. Kerry Clark, who’s an undercover now up in Toronto, we used to call him the big Sharkie. Sharkie threw this biker sideways, and he hit one of his friends, this biker. And he was in the air, and his leg hit the foosball table, but the table was bolted to the floor, so he snapped his leg.”
The leg just went straight out, and you could tell it was terrible.
”We’re on the other side of the bar, and we see it happen, and we head over. We’re heading over to this pile, and we’re all thinking we’re going to fight this biker. Sharkie is still on top of this guy, and this guy pulls his leather jacket over his face when he gets done and up, and his leg is literally going left. It’s completely sideways. And Wendel pulls Sharkie off this big man, and he goes, ’Buddy, buddy. Relax, relax, we’re going to get you out of here.’
”These bikers don’t know what to do, and Joey and Donn Clark are playing shuffleboard, probably talking to some girls, having a good time. They looked over and saw Wendel, and this guy was all blood everywhere. They thought Wendel was fighting, and Joey and Donny were coming through the pile, and BOOM hits the guy. Wendel was with the Leafs, so they thought he couldn’t fight.
”Poor bastard ends up on his back again. We got out of there and we’re kind of nervous. It was the group who later became Hells Angels. Little bit nervous about what was coming.”
But it wasn’t the bikers that they needed to fear. It was their parents.
”The next morning, Wendel’s Dad woke us up at 6 Am. He had already heard, and words travel fast.
”I’m telling you right now, I’m sitting in the kitchen, hearing him yell, and I was terrified of the man. It wasn’t a month later, Joey got in to some more trouble, and when Joe Kocur and Les Clark gets mad at you… forget the Probert and Joey, and Dave Brown. I’ve never been more intimidated in my life, than when Joey’s dad was screaming at us, and when Les Clark was giving it to us.”