By @MichaelCaples –
In the same year that they retired his jersey, the Red Wings now say goodbye to Red Kelly.
The Detroit hockey icon has passed away at the age of 91.
From the Kelly family:
“Hockey legend Red Kelly passed away this morning in Toronto at the age of 91. Red was a devoted husband and caring father and grandfather and was tremendously proud of his many hockey accomplishments. He was very moved by decades of love and support from Red Wings fans and was humbled to have his jersey retired earlier this year. We are comforted in knowing that he impacted so many people both at and away from the rink and know that his life will be celebrated. Arrangements will be announced once they are finalized.”
Kelly spent 13 seasons with the Red Wings, and during the 2018-19 season, Detroit honored him by retiring his No. 4 jersey. He is just the eighth individual to have his number retired by the Original Six franchise.
“Red Kelly was one of the most accomplished players in the history of the Detroit Red Wings, a tremendously impactful figure to the game of hockey, and a wonderful person and family man,” said Red Wings Governor, President and CEO Christopher Ilitch. “I would like to extend our most sincere condolences, on behalf of Marian Ilitch and the entire Red Wings family, to his wife, Andra, and all of his family and friends. Red was a true hockey legend and had the remarkable distinction of being considered one of the best at his position as both a defenseman and a forward during his career. His on-ice achievements speak for themselves, between eight Stanley Cup championships and his collection of league awards and honors. Beyond that, he was a gracious and humble person, and he will be sorely missed by all who knew him.”
A 1969 Hockey Hall of Fame inductee, Kelly won eight total Stanley Cup championships – four with Detroit and four with Toronto. He is the only player to have won more than six Stanley Cups without playing for the Montreal Canadiens.
He was born on July 9, 1927, in Simcoe, Ontario, and he was signed by the Wings at age 19 when a scout noticed him at St. Michael’s College School.
Kelly is survived by Andra, his wife of 60 years, their four children and their eight grandchildren.