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! He is the best all-around performer in the league.” The only player to have won eight Stanley Cups without playing for Montreal, Red Kelly 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 as a Toronto Maple Leaf. The Red Kelly Story takes readers along with Red as he reminisces about his childhood, when he nearly drowned; his time bringing St. Michael’s College to three provincial championships; and his jump directly into the NHL where his sportsmanlike conduct as a defenceman won him multiple Lady Byng trophies over the course of his career. While playing with the Leafs, he served four years as member of parliament in Lester Pearson’s government, notably during the emotional “great flag debate.” After retiring in 1967 as a player, Red coached for a decade in the NHL with Los Angeles, Pittsburgh, and Toronto. The Red Kelly Story is a fascinating biography of a life well lived on and off the ice.