Kelley spent much of his career covering the NHL and the Sabres for the Buffalo News before moving on to jobs with FoxSports.com, ESPN.com and working as a broadcaster in Toronto. Most recently, he was writing columns for Sports Illustrated.
He posted his final column on Tuesday for SportsNet -- a retrospective on Brian Burke's two seasons running the Toronto Maple Leafs.
Buffalo News sports editor Steve Jones confirmed that Kelley died Tuesday at Buffalo General Hospital. Kelley was inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame in 2004 upon receiving the Elmer Ferguson Award for hockey writers. He was scheduled to be inducted into the Buffalo Sabres' Hall of Fame on Jan. 1.
Kelley is survived by his wife Susan, daughters Erin and Megan, and three grandchildren. Funeral arrangements were pending.
Material from wire services was used in this report