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Leonard Patrick "Red" Kelly CM (July 9, 1927 – May 2, 2019) was a Canadian professional ice hockey player and coach. He was also a Liberal Member of Parliament for the Toronto-area riding of York West from 1962 to 1965, during which time he also won the Stanley Cup—twice—while actively playing for the Toronto Maple Leafs. Kelly played on more Stanley Cup-winning teams (eight) than any other player who never played for the Montreal Canadiens; Henri Richard (11), Jean Beliveau (10), Yvan Cournoyer (10) and Claude Provost (9) won their Cups with the Canadiens. He was also the only player to have never played for the Canadiens to be part of two of the nine dynasties recognized by the National Hockey League (NHL) in its history.[1]

Red Kelly
Hockey Hall of Fame, 1969
Red Kelly Maple Leafs Chex Card.jpg
Red Kelly with the Toronto Maple Leafs
Born (1927-07-09)July 9, 1927
Simcoe, Ontario, Canada
Died May 2, 2019(2019-05-02) (aged 91)
Toronto, Ontario, Canada
Height 6 ft 0 in (183 cm)
Weight 195 lb (88 kg; 13 st 13 lb)
Position Defence (1947–1960)
Centre (1960–1967)
Shot Left
Played for Detroit Red Wings
Toronto Maple Leafs
Playing career 1947–1967

In 2017, Kelly was named one of the '100 Greatest NHL Players' in history.[2]

Early careerEdit

Kelly attended Doan's Hollow Public School in Port Dover, then attended St. Michael's College School.[3] [4] He grew up listening to Foster Hewitt's broadcasts of the Toronto Maple Leafs, and was particularly inspired by the style of their hard-charging defenceman, Red Horner. However, while playing junior hockey for the St. Michael's Majors, he was encouraged to refine his style by his coach, former Leaf great Joe Primeau.[5]

NHL careerEdit

 
Red Kelly with the Detroit Red Wings

The Maple Leafs passed on Kelly after a scout predicted he would not last 20 games in the NHL (despite the Majors' long relationship with the Leafs) and the 19-year-old joined the Detroit Red Wings in 1947. In 1954 he was runner-up for the Hart Memorial Trophy and won the James Norris Memorial Trophy as the NHL's top defenceman, the first time the trophy was awarded and also won the Lady Byng Trophy in 1951, 1953 and 1954 as the NHL's most gentlemanly player. In over 12 years as a Red Wing the team won eight regular-season championships and four Stanley Cups. He was chosen as a First Team All-Star defenceman six times.

However, midway through the next season, a reporter asked Kelly why he'd been off his game for much of 1959. Kelly replied, "Don't know. Might have been the ankle." When Red Wings general manager Jack Adams got wind of the story, he was furious, and immediately brokered a four-player deal in which Kelly was sent to the New York Rangers. However, Kelly scuttled the deal when he announced he would retire rather than go to New York.[5]

Maple Leafs head coach Punch Imlach stepped in and tried to talk Kelly into playing for him. Though he disliked Maple Leaf Gardens and was still smarting from the scout's assessment of him 13 years earlier, Kelly agreed to be traded to the Leafs. Once Kelly arrived in Toronto, Imlach asked him to switch positions and become a full-time centre, figuring that Kelly could easily match up against the Montreal Canadiens' Jean Béliveau. The switch paid off. Already a great playmaker, Kelly turned Frank Mahovlich into one of the most lethal goal scorers in NHL history.[5][6]

Kelly won his fourth Lady Byng Award in 1961. In his eight seasons with the Leafs, they won four Stanley Cups–the same number of times he'd won in Detroit. In 1,316 regular season games, he scored 281 goals and 542 assists for 823 points. At the time of his retirement, he was seventh all time in career points, fifth in assists, 13th in goals, and second only to Gordie Howe in games played. In 164 playoff games, he scored 33 goals and 59 assists for 92 points.

Coaching careerEdit

After the Maple Leafs won the Stanley Cup in 1967, Kelly announced his retirement as a player, and negotiated with the expansion Los Angeles Kings to be their inaugural coach on the strength of Imlach's assertion that Toronto would not stand in the way of Kelly's coaching career. Imlach insisted, however, that Los Angeles draft Kelly in the expansion draft,[7] and after the Kings failed to do so, refused to release Kelly's rights until Los Angeles traded minor-league defenceman Ken Block to the Leafs.[8][9] Kelly guided the Kings to second place in the West Division and made the playoffs two years in a row.

He left the Kings for a one-year contract to succeed Red Sullivan as coach of the Pittsburgh Penguins on July 2, 1969.[10] After the Penguins ended the 1969–70 season with its first-ever playoff appearance and advanced to the semifinals, Kelly signed a five-year, $250,000 contract on May 21, 1970 to continue as coach, and also replaced Jack Riley as general manager.[11][12] With the team struggling in sixth place in the NHL West Division during a stretch of winning only two of 22 contests and having failed to qualify for the postseason in 1970–71, Kelly was pressured to relinquish his general manager title back to Riley on January 29, 1972 in order to concentrate on his coaching duties.[13] Amid a slump in which the Penguins won only two games with three draws and seven losses and slid into fifth place in the eight-team NHL West Division, Kelly was fired and replaced by Ken Schinkel on January 13, 1973.[14]

Kelly returned to the Maple Leafs after signing a four-year contract to succeed John McLellan as coach on August 20, 1973.[15] He stayed in the position from the 1973–74 season to 1976–77. The team earned a playoff berth in all four seasons with Kelly as head coach but got eliminated in the quarterfinals each time. A bizarre aspect of his tenure as Maple Leafs coach occurred during the 1975–76 quarterfinal series when he promoted pyramid power amongst his players to counter the Philadelphia Flyers' use of Kate Smith's rendition of "God Bless America." He hung a plastic model of a pyramid in the team's clubhouse after a pair of away defeats to start the series. The players embraced the superstition after observing team captain Darryl Sittler first place his hockey sticks beneath the pyramid and then stand under it for exactly four minutes. The Maple Leafs managed to win all three of its home matches before losing the series' decisive Game 7.[16] Kelly was fired at the end of the 1976–1977 season, ending 30 consecutive years at ice level in the NHL. Kelly coached 742 regular season games during his NHL career of which his team won 278, lost 300 and tied 134. He coached 62 NHL playoff games winning 24 of these.[17]

Political careerEdit

Leonard Patrick "Red" Kelly

Member of the Canada Parliament
for York West
In office
June 18, 1962 – November 7, 1965
Preceded byJohn Hamilton
Succeeded byRobert Winters
Personal details
NationalityCanadian
Political partyLiberal
Spouse(s)
Andra Carol McLaughl (m. 1959)
[3]

Kelly was elected to the House of Commons of Canada in the 1962 federal election at the York West riding under the Liberal party led by Lester B. Pearson. He defeated Conservative incumbent John Hamilton. He was re-elected there in the following year's election in which his Progressive Conservative opponent was future NHL agent Alan Eagleson. Kelly continued to play with the Toronto Maple Leafs during his terms as a Member of Parliament. During the Great Canadian Flag Debate, he received opposition from Leafs owner Conn Smythe who opposed Pearson's plans to replace the Red Ensign flag with the Maple Leaf.[18] He did not seek re-election in 1965, but left federal politics after his two terms in the 25th and 26th Canadian Parliaments, because he wanted more time with his family.[19] He was succeeded in York West by fellow Liberal Robert Winters.

Achievements and factsEdit

Personal lifeEdit

Kelly son Leonard Patrick Kelly Jr. represented Canada in the Albertville and Lillehammer Olympics in Long Track Speed Skating. Kelly was the granduncle of hockey player Mark Jankowski of the Calgary Flames and a cousin to Jack Riley. On May 2, 2019, Kelly died at the age of 91.

Career statisticsEdit

    Regular season   Playoffs
Season Team League GP G A Pts PIM GP G A Pts PIM
1943–44 St. Michael's Midgets Minor-ON 8 10 5 15
1944–45 St. Michael's Buzzers Big-10 Jr. B 11 15 13 28 7 11 16 8 24 6
1944–45 St. Michael's College Majors OHA-Jr. 1 0 0 0 0
1945–46 St. Michael's College Majors OHA-Jr. 26 13 11 24 18 11 1 0 1 7
1946–47 St. Michael's College Majors OHA-Jr. 30 8 24 32 11 9 3 3 6 9
1946–47 St. Michael's College Majors M-Cup 9 5 5 10 2
1947–48 Detroit Red Wings NHL 60 6 14 20 13 10 3 2 5 2
1948–49 Detroit Red Wings NHL 59 5 11 16 10 11 1 1 2 6
1949–50 Detroit Red Wings NHL 70 15 25 40 9 14 1 3 4 2
1950–51 Detroit Red Wings NHL 70 17 37 54 24 6 0 1 1 0
1951–52 Detroit Red Wings NHL 67 16 31 47 16 5 1 0 1 0
1952–53 Detroit Red Wings NHL 70 19 27 46 8 6 0 4 4 0
1953–54 Detroit Red Wings NHL 62 16 33 49 18 12 5 1 6 4
1954–55 Detroit Red Wings NHL 70 15 30 45 28 11 2 4 6 17
1955–56 Detroit Red Wings NHL 70 16 34 50 39 10 2 4 6 2
1956–57 Detroit Red Wings NHL 70 10 25 35 18 5 1 0 1 0
1957–58 Detroit Red Wings NHL 61 13 18 31 26 4 0 1 1 2
1958–59 Detroit Red Wings NHL 67 8 13 21 34
1959–60 Detroit Red Wings NHL 50 6 12 18 10
1959–60 Toronto Maple Leafs NHL 18 6 5 11 8 10 3 8 11 2
1960–61 Toronto Maple Leafs NHL 64 20 50 70 12 2 1 0 1 0
1961–62 Toronto Maple Leafs NHL 58 22 27 49 6 12 4 6 10 0
1962–63 Toronto Maple Leafs NHL 66 20 40 60 8 10 2 6 8 6
1963–64 Toronto Maple Leafs NHL 70 11 34 45 16 14 4 9 13 4
1964–65 Toronto Maple Leafs NHL 70 18 28 46 8 6 3 2 5 2
1965–66 Toronto Maple Leafs NHL 63 8 24 32 12 4 0 2 2 0
1966–67 Toronto Maple Leafs NHL 61 14 24 38 4 12 0 5 5 2
NHL totals 1316 281 542 823 327 164 33 59 92 51

Coaching recordEdit

Team Year Regular season Post season
G W L T Pts Finish Result
LAK 1967–68 74 31 33 10 72 2nd in West Lost in first round
LAK 1968–69 76 24 42 10 58 4th in West Lost in second round
PIT 1969–70 76 26 38 12 64 2nd in West Lost in second round
PIT 1970–71 78 21 37 20 62 6th in West Did not qualify
PIT 1971–72 78 26 38 14 66 4th in West Lost in first round
PIT 1972–73 42 17 19 6 (73) 5th in West (fired)
TOR 1973–74 78 35 27 16 86 4th in East Lost in first round
TOR 1974–75 80 31 33 16 78 3rd in Adams Lost in second round
TOR 1975–76 80 34 31 15 83 3rd in Adams Lost in second round
TOR 1976–77 80 33 32 15 81 3rd in Adams Lost in second round
Total 742 278 330 134

See alsoEdit

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ "Stanley Cup Dynasties". National Hockey League. Retrieved July 20, 2009.
  2. ^ a b "100 Greatest NHL Players". NHL.com. January 1, 2017. Retrieved January 1, 2017.
  3. ^ a b Normandin, Pierre G. (1965). Canadian Parliamentary Guide.
  4. ^ Duhatschek, Eric; et al. (2001). Hockey Chronicles. New York City: Checkmark Books. ISBN 0-8160-4697-2.
  5. ^ a b c Duhatschek, Eric; et al. (2001). Hockey Chronicles. New York City: Checkmark Books. ISBN 0-8160-4697-2.
  6. ^ "One on One with Red Kelly". Legends of Hockey. Hockey Hall of Fame. Retrieved June 21, 2018.
  7. ^ Bob Scott (June 7, 1967). "Leafs Want Class For Kelly". The Montreal Gazette. p. 37. Retrieved March 7, 2015.
  8. ^ McFarlane, Brian. 50 Years of Hockey. Greywood Publishing Ltd.
  9. ^ "History – Leonard Patrick "Red" Kelly". LAKings.com. Official website of the Los Angeles Kings. Retrieved March 7, 2015.
  10. ^ "Penguins Hire Red Kelly," St. Petersburg (FL) Times, Thursday, 3 July 1969.
  11. ^ "Red Kelly named coach and G.M. for Pittsburgh," The Associated Press, Friday, 22 May 1970.
  12. ^ "'Second Guessing Plague Of Coaching' Red Kelly," United Press International, Tuesday, 16 January 1973.
  13. ^ "Kelly resigns from Penguins," United Press International, Sunday, 30 January 1972.
  14. ^ "Penguins fired Kelly and hire Schinkel," The Associated Press, Sunday, 14 January 1973.
  15. ^ "Maple Leafs Sign Kelly As Coach," The Associated Press, Tuesday, 21 August 1973.
  16. ^ "Leafs employ 'pyramid power,'" The Associated Press, Saturday, 24 April 1976.
  17. ^ The Sports Hall of Fame Encyclopedia. Scarecrow Press. 2011. p. 528. ISBN 9781461673705. Retrieved March 8, 2015.
  18. ^ Levy, Gary (June 1, 1989). "Interview: Leonard (Red) Kelly". Canadian Parliamentary Review. Retrieved June 10, 2010.
  19. ^ "Interview: Leonard (Red) Kelly". Canadian Parliamentary Review. Vol. 12 no. 3. Autumn 1989.
  20. ^ "Red Kelly". oshof.ca. Retrieved September 25, 2014.
  21. ^ "Toronto Maple Leafs retire the numbers of 17 players". NHL.com. October 15, 2016. Retrieved October 16, 2016.
  22. ^ Beam, Todd (October 11, 2018). "Detroit Red Wings to retire Red Kelly's No. 4". NHL.com. Retrieved October 11, 2018.

External linksEdit

Preceded by
Edgar Laprade
Winner of the Lady Byng Trophy
1951
Succeeded by
Sid Smith
Preceded by
Sid Smith
Winner of the Lady Byng Trophy
1953, 1954
Succeeded by
Sid Smith
Preceded by
New award
Winner of the Norris Trophy
1954
Succeeded by
Doug Harvey
Preceded by
Ted Lindsay
Detroit Red Wings captain
195658
Succeeded by
Gordie Howe
Preceded by
Don McKenney
Winner of the Lady Byng Trophy
1961
Succeeded by
Dave Keon
Preceded by
Position created
Head Coach of the Los Angeles Kings
196769
Succeeded by
Hal Laycoe
Preceded by
Red Sullivan
Head coach of the Pittsburgh Penguins
196973
Succeeded by
Ken Schinkel
Preceded by
John McLellan
Head coach of the Toronto Maple Leafs
197377
Succeeded by
Roger Neilson
Preceded by
Jack Riley
General Manager of the Pittsburgh Penguins
197072
Succeeded by
Jack Riley