Courtesy photo

Red Wings to officially retire Red Kelly’s No. 4 in February


By @StefanKubus & @MichaelCaples – 

DETROIT — The Detroit Red Wings announced Thursday ahead of their battle with the Toronto Maple Leafs that Leonard Patrick “Red” Kelly’s No. 4 will be retired to the Little Caesars Arena rafters.

Fitting since the 91-year-old Kelly split his Hall of Fame career between the two clubs.

A native of Simcoe, Ontario, Kelly began his career with Detroit in 1947 and skated with the Wings until the 1959-60 season, where he then played the next seven years with the Leafs to finish out his career. Kelly won four Stanley Cups with each team: with Detroit in 1950, 1952, 1954 and 1955; with Toronto in 1962, 1963, 1964 and 1967.  He also uniquely switched positions halfway through his career, going from star defenseman with Detroit to star centerman with the Maple Leafs out of necessity for Toronto.

Kelly also won three Lady Byng trophies and captured the Norris Trophy as the league’s top defenseman in 1954. He was inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame in 1969. Additionally, while he was still playing for Toronto, Kelly was elected a federal Member of Parliament in 1962 and served in the legislature for three years. During this time, he would shuttle between Toronto and Ottawa several times per week throughout the season.

The ceremony is scheduled for Feb. 1, 2019 as part of “Red Kelly Night,” a night that will see Toronto and Detroit square off once again at 7:30 p.m. at LCA.

Kelly’s No. 4 becomes the Red Wings’ eighth retired number in franchise history, joining Sid Abel (No. 12), Alex Delvecchio (No. 10), Gordie Howe (No. 9), Nicklas Lidstrom (No. 5), Ted Lindsay (No. 7), Terry Sawchuk (No. 1) and Steve Yzerman (No. 19).

MiHockey Staff

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