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Old 08-12-2006, 10:34 AM   #309
24champ
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The Kings Select Defenseman Red Kelly...



Leonard Patrick "Red" Kelly, CM (born 9 July 1927 in Port Dover, Ontario) is a Canadian former hockey player in the NHL. A solid, playmaking defenceman, he joined the Detroit Red Wings in 1947. In 1954 he won the Norris Trophy as the NHL's top defenceman. Kelly also won the Lady Byng Trophy in 1951, 1953, and 1954 as the NHL's most gentlemanly player. An exceptional player at both ends of the ice, Kelly was known not only for his great checking skills as a defenceman, but also for his exceptional puck-handling and passing skills as well. Kelly used all these elements to help the Red Wings move the puck down the ice very quickly. When injuries hampered the team, he sometimes played as a forward.(a position he adapted to easily when needed) During his years as a Red Wing the team won the Stanley Cup 4 times and Kelly was chosen as a first team All-Star team 6 times.

In 1960 the animosity between Kelly and the Wings' management grew. In February he was traded to the New York Rangers but announced his retirement, and refused to report to New York, thereby nullifying the trade.

Toronto Maple Leafs head coach Punch Imlach tried to talk Kelly into playing for Toronto. Though he disliked Maple Leaf Gardens and as a young player was disappointed by the scathing assessment of a Toronto scout, Kelly joined the Leafs.

Kelly became a full-time forward with the Maple Leafs and became a great playmaker in tandem with lethal goal scorer Frank Mahovlich. He won his fourth Lady Byng Award in 1961. In his eight seasons with the Leafs, they won the Stanley Cup four times - the same number of times he'd won in Detroit
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