Detroit Red Wings
Clear Bag Policy Follow @DetroitRedWings on Twitter! Follow the Red Wings on Facebook! Follow @DetroitRedWings on Instagram! Follow OfficialDRW on Snapchat! Get Red Wings Email Updates Get Red Wings Text Updates Get the Detroit Red Wings Official Mobile App
 

 
  • RSS
Red Kelly
Red Kelly
Defenseman
Number: 4
Height: 5' 11"
Weight: 180
Shoots: Left
Born: Jul 9, 1927
Birthplace: Simcoe, ON, Canada
Red Kelly was a unique player - versatile and talented enough to be one of the National Hockey League's best-ever defensemen early in his career and a high-scoring center at the end. The red-haired gentleman was cool and calculating on the ice and never swore, but there was no doubt about his ability to take care of himself. He had been a championship boxer at Toronto's St. Michael's College, skills the four-time winner of the Lady Byng Trophy wouldn't often display during his 20-year NHL career.

Born in Simcoe, Ontario, in 1927, Kelly was 20 years old when the Detroit Red Wings brought him up to the big league directly from St. Michael's. A solid but mobile and skilled defenseman, he quickly found a home on the team playing with such superstars as Gordie Howe, Ted Lindsay and Sid Abel. Kelly was an effective checker, at home on the blue line or on the left wing, where he was sometimes used due either to injuries or to add a little muscle on the offense.

Kelly earned enough All-Star votes in 1950 to win a spot on the NHL's Second Team and the chance to play in the All-Star Game. The Red Wings, well on their way to being the league's dominant team, won the Stanley Cup that year, as they would in three of the next five seasons. And Kelly was an integral part of Detroit's winning formula. His puck-carrying ability allowed the Wings to move from their own zone quickly and provided them with a quick transition game.

Kelly was an All-Star for eight consecutive seasons with the Red Wings, six times on the First Team, and won the Lady Byng Trophy three times. In 1954 he was chosen as the first recipient of the James Norris Memorial Trophy as the outstanding defenseman in the league. In 1956 he was named team captain, a job he held until the end of 1957-58 season.

In 1960 the relationship between Kelly and Detroit management began to sour when complaints about his play became public. Kelly had been playing with a broken bone in his foot, a fact only the top executives of the club knew. The Wings announced a trade, sending Kelly to the New York Rangers for Eddie Shack on February 4, 1960. Kelly, upset with his treatment, refused to report to New York and announced his retirement the next day. Toronto coach Punch Imlach attempted to talk him out of it and managed to acquire his rights from Detroit for Marc Reaume. NHL President Clarence Campbell gave Kelly a week to rescind his retirement. Red had been a Toronto fan all his life but soured on the team after a few visits to Maple Leaf Gardens as a junior player. He didn't like the building and was further put off when his team lost some important games there.

His alienation was a throwback to his early playing days, when a Toronto scout proclaimed that Red would never play more than 20 games in the NHL and went so far as to bet a hat on his prognostication. Despite all this, Kelly decided to take Imlach up on his offer and join the Maple Leafs, though not as a defenseman. Imlach moved him up to the center position and, days after retiring, he began what could be called a second career as a successful full-time forward. Any of Kelly's bad memories were quickly forgotten when the Toronto fans gave him a rousing welcome in his first game with the Leafs.

Frank Mahovlich played on the left wing in Kelly's first full season with the Leafs and set a team record with 48 goals, many of them due to the veteran's playmaking skills. In addition to his talent, Kelly brought his winning ways to the Leafs. In his eight years with the team, Toronto won the Stanley Cup four times. He won even when he entered the world of politics in 1962. He was elected to the Canadian Parliament, where he served for three years until retiring in 1965 to concentrate on hockey again. In 1967, after winning his last Stanley Cup - and the Maple Leafs' last championship as well - Kelly was traded to the expansion Los Angeles Kings, where he was named head coach. As a coach, he proved to be a winner yet again, guiding the Kings into two consecutive playoffs. After a three-year stint with the Pittsburgh Penguins, he returned to Toronto and took the Leafs to four straight quarterfinal appearances.

Courtesy of the Hockey Hall of Fame

SCHEDULE

HOME
AWAY
PROMOTIONAL

STANDINGS

EASTERN CONFERENCE
  TEAM GP W L OT GF GA PTS
1 WSH 52 39 9 4 171 117 82
2 FLA 54 32 16 6 150 122 70
3 NYR 54 31 18 5 153 135 67
4 DET 54 28 18 8 136 132 64
5 NYI 52 28 18 6 145 129 62
6 TBL 53 29 20 4 140 127 62
7 BOS 53 28 19 6 153 146 62
8 PIT 53 27 19 7 138 135 61
9 NJD 55 27 21 7 122 123 61
10 MTL 55 27 24 4 147 145 58
11 CAR 54 24 21 9 130 142 57
12 OTT 55 25 24 6 154 169 56
13 PHI 52 23 20 9 122 137 55
14 BUF 54 21 27 6 124 146 48
15 CBJ 55 21 28 6 137 170 48
16 TOR 52 19 24 9 120 144 47

STATS

2015-2016 REGULAR SEASON
SKATERS: GP G A +/- Pts
D. Larkin 53 18 20 26 38
H. Zetterberg 54 10 27 4 37
T. Tatar 53 16 17 0 33
G. Nyquist 54 14 16 0 30
P. Datsyuk 39 8 21 13 29
J. Abdelkader 54 14 13 -3 27
M. Green 46 4 17 -7 21
N. Kronwall 45 3 14 -10 17
B. Richards 40 5 11 7 16
D. DeKeyser 50 7 8 13 15
 
GOALIES: W L OT Sv% GAA
P. Mrazek 21 10 4 .934 1.94
J. Howard 7 8 4 .904 2.89