The Red Kelly Story


When Boston coach Lynn Patrick was asked who he’d pick between Rocket Richard or Gordie Howe he answered, “Neither! I’ll take Red Kelly!” The only player to have won eight Stanley Cups without playing for Montreal, Red began his life in hockey on the cedar swamps near Port Dover, Ontario, and went on to win accolades and championships as a Detroit Red Wing and Toronto Maple Leaf.

Go back in time with Red as he reminisces about his childhood: the time he nearly drowned; when he brought St. Michael’s College to three provincial championships; and his jump into a career with the NHL where sportsmanlike conduct won him multiple Lady Byng trophies. While playing with the Leafs, he served as a member of parliament in Lester Pearson’s government. After retiring in 1967 as a player, Red coached for a decade in the NHL with Los Angeles, Pittsburgh, and Toronto. This is a fascinating biography of a life well lived — on and off the ice.


I must say this is someone that I had never heard of before. He won eight Stanley cups without playing with the Montreal Canadians. He played for the Detroit Red Wings from 1947 to 1960 he was going to be traded to the New York Rangers and he said he would rather retire than play for them. He was then traded to the Maple Leafs even though they passed on him because a scout said he would only last 20 games. That was before he signed with the Red Wings. Now he was going to Toronto and would play there for 8 seasons and they would win 4 Stanley Cups. After his retirement, he would become the King's first coach and lead them to the playoffs two years in a row. He would then leave and go, coach Pittsburgh, he would also lead them to their first-ever playoff appearance. He would coach other teams and finally be done with hockey at the end of the 76 -77 season after 30 years. He was also a member of the Canadian Parliament from June of 62 – November of 65. Kelly passed away on May 2 of 2019 at the age of 91, this was not in the book. I found this to be an interesting book and an easy read about old-time hockey. I received this book from I gave it 4 stars. Follow us at

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