Legendary defenseman and forward Red Kelly passed away at 91 on Thursday.
The Hall of Famer won eight Stanley Cups with the Detroit Red Wings and Toronto Maple Leafs. His eight titles are more than any other non-Montreal Canadiens player in NHL history. The Ontario native was a skillful offensive defenseman who scored 10 goals in nine consecutive seasons.
He started his career with the Detroit as a defenseman in 1947. During his time with the Red Wings, he won four Stanley Cups from 1947- 60. In Detroit, he played with legends, Gordie Howe and Ted Lindsay. Together they won four Stanley Cups in six seasons from 1949-50 through 1954-55.
The NHL mourns the passing of Leonard ‘Red’ Kelly – a man whose hockey career is so storied and distinguished that it may never be duplicated.
— NHL Public Relations (@PR_NHL) May 2, 2019
In 1960 Detroit traded him to the New York Rangers, but the trade died after he refused to report to the Rangers. Toronto’s general manager Punch Imlach persuaded Kelly to join the Maple Leafs. Since joining Toronto, Imlach switched Kelly’s position to center to defend Canadiens center, Jean Beliveau. In 1962, the Maple Leafs defeated the Chicago Blackhawks in the Stanley Cup Final, their first title since 1951. They later won in 1963, 1964 and 1967 during Red Kelly time.
In 1967, he retired and finished his career with 823 points (281 goals, 542 assists) in 1316 regular-season games. They inducted him in the Hockey Hall of Fame in 1969. After his playing career, he coached for the LA Kings, Pittsburgh Penguins and Maple Leafs.
His No. 4 is retired by both Detroit and Toronto, making him one of few players to do that. In 2017, the NHL named him as one of the 100 greatest NHL Players in history.
— Ken Kal (@KenKalDRW) February 2, 2019
“From Our Haus to Yours”