Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Fuhr Overdue to Be Granted His Due

Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Fuhr Overdue to Be Granted His Due

Article excerpt

Grant Fuhr is a St. Louis kind of guy whose natural constituency has yet to recognize that.

This week could have been the invisible man's overdue turn in the limelight. Fuhr stole three ties for the Blues on their four-game snow safari to play Eastern powerhouses.

He should return tonight as the king of Kiel Center. Instead, the home crowd will be smitten with the man behind the other mask.

Curtis "Cujo" Joseph, who signed with Edmonton last week, makes his first trip here as an ex-Blues goalie.

While the popular Joseph gets the ovation, the background buzz will center on Wayne Gretzky.

Despite much frothing from Toronto scribes, a source near the Gretzky camp insists that the Blues have not pre-wrapped a deal with Los Angeles for The Great One.

If a move comes, Gretzky's preferred destination for now is Toronto, not St. Louis, with family matters a large factor.

Gretzky, whose father has been ill, grew up in the Toronto suburb of Brantford. His wife, the former Janet Jones of Pattonville High, has family here.

Overshadowed on stage and off, Fuhr should at least have the All-Star Game as a showcase Saturday in Boston.

Back this season from oblivion and a case of the munchies, he has stopped pucks at an All-Star pace. But he couldn't stop the three Western Conference goalie berths from going elsewhere.

So Fuhr, who inherited Cujo's popular No. 31 sweater, must wait for his profile to rise with his new fans.

No problem. He is content that his bosses and teammates consider him a stand-up guy, even though he's no stand-up goalie.

He never mopes or moans, whether faced with an All-Star snub, a suspension by coach Mike Keenan for reporting out of shape, the ensuing fan and media scorn, his minority status in a nearly lily-white sport, his bargain salary of $975,000, or a team that often leaves him to his own defenses in games.

"He's mellow like me," said teammate and friend Brett Hull, "except he doesn't have that barb on his tongue. He doesn't have loose jaw."

Fuhr won five Stanley Cups in Edmontonn, but his career sank in Toronto, Buffalo and Los Angeles.

Joseph, who will make $1. …

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