ST. LOUIS (KMOX) – Connections to the Stanley Cup and Saskatoon helped start the process that brought a blind father and his son from the Canadian city to St. Louis for game two of the NHL’s Western Conference Finals.
When Blues broadcaster Kelly Chase saw the video showing Gerry Nelson’s emotional reaction to touching the Cup, he decided he had to invite him and his son to a playoff game here.
Chase played junior hockey in Saskatoon around the time Gerry lost his sight to diabetes, 27 years ago.
“The last games that Gerry watched,” Kelly tells Total Information AM, “were when we played.”
In recent years, Gerry’s 12-year-old son Wyatt has been describing the action for Gerry when they attend games in Saskatoon. Wyatt also led Gerry into the room where the NHL had placed the Stanley Cup to surprise the two.
Chase says, as a Canadian, he understands Nelson’s reverence for the trophy that hockey teams have competed for since 1893.
“He probably had those same thoughts and feelings as a kid,” he says. “And you lose your eyesight at 26 years old, and all of a sudden, you have a different appreciation for things.”
Chase says he waited until after the Blues eliminated the Dallas Stars to issue the invitation.
“I told Kerbs (Blues broadcaster Chris Kerber) on the bus, ‘Just so you know, I’m going to invite Wyatt and Gerry down,’ and he goes, ‘I was just talking to Chris (Blues President Chris Zimmerman) about it and hey, the Blues would like to take care of it.’ I said, ‘Well that’s unbelievable.’
“I just want to make sure people have the opportunity to see what it’s like,” Chase says, “and when you have hockey fans like that, it’s good karma to take care of people when you have the opportunity.”
Gerry remembers when Chase played in Saskatoon, and has told him he was his favorite player.
“So I was your favorite player when you physically watched your last game?” Chase says he joked with Nelson. “Are you sure you didn’t lose your eyesight a couple of years before that?”
Tuesday night, Gerry and Wyatt will be in the Scottrade Center and will join Chase and Kerber in the Blues broadcast booth. You’ll be able to listen on KMOX’s sister station, Y98 FM.
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