‘It’s like traveling with the Beatles’: Kelly Chase draws crowds in Porcupine Plain with Stanley Cup
Published Friday, October 25, 2019 12:36PM CST
Last Updated Friday, October 25, 2019 6:53PM CST
PORCUPINE PLAIN -- Kelly Chase received a warm welcome Thursday evening when he arrived at the community hall in Porcupine Plain with the Stanley Cup.
“I’ve come back home and been a part of the community in the summers since I was a pro in 1987 or 88. To be able to share the cup with them I think is awesome.”
A call from the Chase Arena Fundraising Committee in Porcupine Plain to Chase, a former resident, sparked the event. The community needs to raise $20,000 to buy a new boiler to supply hot water for ice flooding and the rest of the rink’s plumbing.
“A new boiler will help get the kids on the ice sooner and make the teams a little more competitive,” said Craig Kriger, a member of the fundraising committee.
“Small towns in the winter, the rink is life, you go down to the rink watch all the teams play."
Chase is a former NHL and Saskatoon Blades player. His professional career spanned from 1988 to 2000. He signed with the St. Louis Blues as a free agent in 1988 and also played for the Hartford Whalers and Toronto Maple Leafs. Chase never won the Stanley Cup as a player, but he now works in the marketing department with the Blues, who won the NHL championship in June.
“I mean you play your whole life and you think all I want to do is play in the NHL but what you are really chasing is a tin cup.”
He arranged the Cup’s visit to Porcupine Plain to coincide with Heritage Classic outdoor hockey game in Regina on Saturday.
“It’s like traveling with the Beatles, this thing. The crowd it gathers, the excitement it gathers, the emotions. There’s nothing like it. There’s no trophy in sports like it,” he said.
Local business and volunteers pitched in to make the event a success. Proceeds from pictures with the Stanley Cup, silent auction, 50/50 draw, bar and food sales will go towards the renovation fund.
“It’s a privilege to play in the NHL but it’s more of a privilege to give back. And you have an obligation to give back when you put on a jersey,” Chase said.
“I am really fortunate that I grew up in a town where people are giving and they’ve always been good to me and supported me so it was good I could bring the cup here.”
Blake Bratton, who plays for the North East Wolfpack, is looking forward to the increased ice time when the new boiler is installed.
“Once everything is fixed in the rink, I will be down there lots. It’s like my favorite place other than home, maybe even sometimes more than home,” Bratton said.
The Stanley Cup was also in Porcupine Plain in 2005 for a TSN event with broadcaster Darren Dutchyshen and Chase in 2005. Dutchyshen also grew up in the community.