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Red Kelly: link to a wonderful post on the former Maple Leaf great

Recently I connected with a gentleman, Dick Wright, who hosts a well-written blog entitled “Wrights Lane”. The site provides articles on a range of thoughtful topics.

A former athlete with a long history in the newspaper, communications and public relations industries, Dick penned a piece last fall on hockey Hall-of-Famer Red Kelly. Kelly was one of the best defensemen in hockey in the 1950s while performing for Detroit, before coming to Toronto and helping the Leafs win four Cups in the 1960s. (The game-action picture we’ve included with this story shows Red, wearing a helmet, in action against the Black Hawks late in the 1962-’63 season.) Throughout his outstanding 20-year NHL career, Red won a total of eight Stanley Cups, including the four he captured with the Leafs.

I wonder, thinking back as I write this now, how many players, other than Jean Beliveau (and I’m sure everyone is wishing Beliveau well in his latest health setback) and Henri Richard have won more? If you exclude those who played for the Habs, Kelly must surely be at the top of the list of Stanley Cup winners.

Interesting, Kelly was an offensive defenseman in the ‘50s when there weren’t many such players—long before Bobby Orr changed the game. Red not only won the Norris trophy as the league’s best defenseman one season, he won the Lady Byng three times as a defenseman and once as a forward. He was an end-of-season NHL All-star eight times.

Dick’s piece brings unique insight into the kind of individual the former Member of Canadian Parliament has always been and affirms what many people like myself have always thought about the kind of individual Kelly is.

It’s a great read. Here’s the link:

One of the joys of hosting Vintage Leaf Memories has been the opportunity to connect with others who share similar interests and write about their own treasured memories. I’ll be following Dick’s site with interest.

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