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Ice Hockey

Up to date as of February 02, 2010

An Ice Hockey Wiki article.

Position Defenceman/Centre
Shot Left
Height
Weight
6 ft 0 in (1.83 m)
195 lb (89 kg)
Teams Detroit Red Wings
Toronto Maple Leafs
Nationality Canadian
Born July 9,1927,
Port Dover, ON, CAN
Pro Career 1947 – 1967
Hall of Fame, 1969

Leonard Patrick "Red" Kelly, (born 9 July 1927 in Port Dover, Ontario), is a retired Canadian player in the NHL. He played on more Stanley Cup winning teams (eight) than any player who never played for the Montreal Canadiens.

Contents

Early career

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.

NHL career

Although the Majors were usually a talent pipeline for the Maple Leafs, the NHL club passed on Kelly after a scout predicted he wouldn't last 20 games in the NHL, and the nineteen year-old joined the Detroit Red Wings in 1947. In 1954 he was runner-up for the Hart Trophy and won the Norris 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.

An exceptional player at both ends of the ice, Kelly was known not only for his great checking skills as a defenceman, but also for his exceptional puck-handling and passing skills as well. Kelly used all these elements to help the Red Wings move the puck down the ice very quickly. When injuries hampered the team, he sometimes played as a forward (a position he adapted to easily when needed). In over twelve years as a Red Wing the team won eight regular-season championships, the Stanley Cup four times and Kelly was chosen as a First Team All-Star defenceman six times.

Late in the 1959 season, Kelly broke his ankle. However, the Red Wings kept the injury a secret, and Kelly played through the pain as the Red Wings missed the playoffs for the first time in 21 years. 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. Maple Leafs head coach Punch Imlach stepped in and tried to talk Kelly into playing for him. Though he disliked Maple Leaf Gardens and as a young player was disappointed by the scathing assessment of that Toronto scout, Kelly agreed to be traded to the Leafs.

Once Kelly arrived in Toronto, Imlach asked him to 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. He won his fourth Lady Byng Award in 1961. In his eight seasons with the Leafs, they won the Stanley Cup four times - 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 7th all time in career points, 5th 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 career

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. However, Imlach insisted that Los Angeles draft Kelly in the expansion draft, and after the Kings failed to do so, refused to release Kelly's rights until Los Angeles traded a minor-league defenceman to the Leafs.

Despite being the only rookie coach, and being in charge of the favorites to finish last, Kelly went on to guide the Kings to second place in the West Division and made the playoffs two years in a row.

In 1969–70, Kelly moved on to coach the Pittsburgh Penguins for three seasons, making the playoffs in his first and last seasons with the team. Kelly returned to the Maple Leafs as coach in 1973. He stayed in the position from 1973–74 to 1976–77. The team earned a playoff berth in all 4 seasons with Kelly as head coach but got eliminated in the quarterfinals each time.

His final regular season coaching record was 261–311–128.

Coaching record

Team Year Regular Season Post Season
G W L T OTL 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

Achievements and facts

Career statistics

    Regular season   Playoffs
Season Team League GP G A Pts PIM GP G A Pts PIM
1946–47 St. Michael's Majors OHA 30 9 24 33 13
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
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 captains
1956-58
Succeeded by
Gordie Howe
Preceded by
Don McKenney
Winner of the Lady Byng Trophy
1961
Succeeded by
Dave Keon
Preceded by
none
Head Coaches of the Los Angeles Kings
1967–1969
Succeeded by
Hal Laycoe
Preceded by
Red Sullivan
Head Coaches of the Pittsburgh Penguins
1969-1973
Succeeded by
Ken Schinkel
Preceded by
John McLellan
Head Coaches of the Toronto Maple Leafs
1973-1977
Succeeded by
Roger Neilson
Toronto Maple Leafs Head Coaches
ARENAS: D. Carroll • ST. PATS: Heffernan • Sproule • F. Carroll • O'Donoghue • Querrie • Powers • Rodden •
MAPLE LEAFS: Romeril • Smythe • Duncan • Irvin • Day • Primeau • Clancy • Meeker • Reay • Imlach • McLellan • Kelly • Neilson • Smith • Duff • Crozier • Nykoluk • Maloney • Brophy • Armstrong • Carpenter • Watt • Burns • Beverley • Murphy • Quinn • Maurice
This page uses content from Wikipedia. The original article was at Red Kelly. The list of authors can be seen in the page history. As with Ice Hockey Wiki, the text of Wikipedia is available under the GNU Free Documentation License.
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This article uses material from the "Red Kelly" article on the Ice Hockey wiki at Wikia and is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike License.

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