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Maple Leafs Mourn the Loss of Legend Red Kelly

by Toronto Maple Leafs @MapleLeafs /

The Toronto Maple Leafs are deeply saddened today to learn of the passing of Leonard Patrick 'Red' Kelly. Red played eight seasons for the Maple Leafs, winning the Stanley Cup four times, after famously signing with the club after 13 seasons with the Detroit Red Wings where he was also a member of four Stanley Cup winning teams.

"The entire Toronto Maple Leafs organization mourns the passing of Red Kelly," said Toronto Maple Leafs President & Alternate Governor Brendan Shanahan. "For those of us who were lucky enough to have known or encountered Red, we will all miss his sharp mind and keen intellect. He was a gentle man but a fierce competitor. Above all, he was a family man, and he will be missed by his hockey family. Our deepest sympathies go out to Andra, their children, grandchildren and the entire Kelly family."

In 1960, after winning a Norris Trophy, four Stanley Cups and becoming the highest scoring defenceman in NHL history, Red joined the Maple Leafs and moved to centre. At that position, he led the club in playoff scoring for the decade and won four more Stanley Cups. What made Red's achievements on the ice even more remarkable, was that he accomplished all of this while serving three years in the House of Commons. 

Following his playing career, Red would return to coach the Leafs for four seasons in the 1970's, making the playoffs each year. An honoured member of the Hockey Hall of Fame and also named as one of the NHL's '100 Greatest Players', Red had his banner raised to the rafters on Opening Night 2006, and received a statue on Legends Row in 2017. 

A proud man, Red would often say, "I'm a Celt. We don't ask for any favours. They bury us straight up so we're ready for the fight in the next world."

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