Maple Leafs, Red Wings Hockey Legend Red Kelly Dead At 91

Hockey Hall of Famer Red Kelly, who won eight Stanley Cups with the Detroit Red Wings and Toronto Maple Leafs, has passed away at age 91.

Red Kelly was born Leonard Patrick Kelly on July 9, 1927 in Simcoe, Ontario, but earned the nickname Red for his bright red hair. He broke into the NHL in 1947 as a defenceman with the Red Wings, and helped the Red Wings win four Stanley Cups in 1950, ’52, ’54 and ’55.

In 1954, Kelly became the first player to win the Norris Trophy as the NHL’s top defenceman, and he also won three Lady Byng Memorial trophies while playing for the Red Wings.

In 1959, Kelly was traded to the New York Rangers. But after threatening to retire, the deal fell apart, and Kelly was instead traded to the Maple Leafs. Once he arrived in Toronto, Kelly switched from defence to centre and helped the Maple Leafs win another four Stanley Cups. He also added a fourth Lady Byng award in 1961.

Red Kelly retired from the NHL after helping the Maple Leafs win the Stanley Cup on May 2, 1967, finishing his career with 281 goals, 542 assists and 823 points in 1,316 games.

After retiring from playing, Kelly joined the expansion Los Angeles Kings as their first head coach. He also coached the Pittsburgh Penguins from 1969-73, and then coached the Maple Leafs from 1973-1977. He was also a former Member of Parliament having twice been elected to the House of Commons in 1962 and 1963.

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