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This Date in NHL History

July 9: Kelly, eight-time Cup champion, born in Ontario

Plus: Nashville hires Poile as first general manager; Sakic retires

by John Kreiser @jkreiser7713 / Managing Editor


1927: Red Kelly, who plays on eight Stanley Cup-winning teams during 21 seasons in the NHL on the way to induction into the Hockey Hall of Fame, is born in Simcoe, Ontario.

Kelly, a smooth-skating defenseman, joins the Detroit Red Wings in 1949 and is named an NHL First-Team All-Star six times during a seven-season stretch from 1950-57. He also wins the first Norris Trophy as the NHL's top defenseman in 1954 and helps the Red Wings win the Stanley Cup four times.

The Toronto Maple Leafs acquire Kelly on Feb. 10 1960, and coach Punch Imlach converts him to a center, saying he needs someone to check Montreal Canadiens star Jean Beliveau. Kelly finishes with an NHL career-high 70 points in his first full season with Toronto, and linemate Frank Mahovlich scores 48 goals.

Kelly helps the Maple Leafs win the Stanley Cup in 1962, '63 and '64, and again in 1967. He retires after the 1967 Cup with 823 points (281 goals, 542 assists) in 1,316 NHL games. Kelly ends his career with more championships than anyone who's never played for the Canadiens.

The expansion Los Angeles Kings acquire Kelly's rights and name him their first coach. He spends two seasons with the Kings and 3 1/2 with the Pittsburgh Penguins before coming back to coach the Maple Leafs to four consecutive playoff berths from 1973-77.

Kelly is inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame in 1969, and he's named to the 100 Greatest NHL Players in 2017. The Maple Leafs (Oct. 13, 2016) and Red Wings (Feb. 1, 2019) each retire his number before he dies at age 91 on May 2, 2019.

Video: Red Kelly won Cup four times each with Wings, Leafs



1905: Clarence Campbell, the NHL's third president, is born in Fleming, Saskatchewan. He succeeds Red Dutton in 1946 and serves for 31 years. Campbell helps the NHL expand from six teams to 12 in 1967 and eventually to 18 before he steps down in 1977. One of Campbell's most memorable decisions is to suspend Canadiens star Maurice Richard for the end of the regular season and all of the 1955 Stanley Cup Playoffs after Richard punched a linesman. The Clarence S. Campbell Bowl is presented each year to the Western Conference playoff champion.


1997: The new Nashville franchise, still unnamed at the time, hires David Poile as general manager. More than 20 years later, Poile is still the only GM in Predators history (though he's since added the title of president of hockey operations). They make the Stanley Cup Final for the first time in 2017 but lose to the Penguins in six games.


2006: Brendan Shanahan signed with the New York Rangers as a free agent. Shanahan, one of the best power forwards in NHL history, scores 52 goals and has 108 points in 140 games during two seasons with the Rangers, then retires after playing 34 games for his original team, the New Jersey Devils, in 2008-09. Shanahan ends his NHL career with 656 goals and 1,354 points in 1,524 games; he is inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame in 2013.


2009: Joe Sakic retires after 20 seasons with the Quebec Nordiques/Colorado Avalanche, the final 16 as captain. Quebec takes Sakic in the first round (No. 15) of the 1987 NHL Draft; he joins the Nordiques in 1988 and is a star by the time they move to Denver for the 1995-96 season. Sakic helps the Avalanche win the Stanley Cup in 1996, when he wins the Conn Smythe Trophy as playoff MVP, and wins the Hart and Lady Byng trophies and the Lester B. Pearson Trophy (now the Ted Lindsay Award) in 2000-01, when the Avalanche win their second championship. He retires as the franchise's all-time leader in goals (625), assists (1,016) and points (1,641), has his No. 19 retired before Colorado's opening game in 2009-10 and is inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame in 2012. He remains with the Avalanche and is named general manager in 2014.


2014: The Chicago Blackhawks lock up two core pieces of their Stanley Cup-winning teams in 2010 and 2013, center Jonathan Toews and forward Patrick Kane, to matching eight-year contract extensions. Toews and Kane arrive in Chicago together in 2007 and key a renaissance by the Blackhawks. Kane scores the Cup-winning goal in overtime of Game 6 in the 2010 Final, giving the Blackhawks their first Stanley Cup championship since 1961, then wins the Conn Smythe Trophy as playoff MVP in 2013. Toews, the youngest captain in Blackhawks history, becomes one of the best leaders in the NHL and wins the Conn Smythe in 2010. Each plays a key role when the Blackhawks win a third championship in 2015.

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