"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.
Publishers Weekly® Reviews
- Reviewed in: Publishers Weekly, page .
- Review Date: 2016-08-29
- Reviewer: Staff
National Hockey League legend Kelly offers his own account of a remarkable career, which included eight Stanley Cup wins during his 20 years on the ice, followed by another decade coaching. Kelly played defense for the Detroit Red Wings from 1947 to 1959 and offense for the Toronto Maple Leafs from 1959 to 1967. He also served as a member of Parliament while playing for the Leafs. This is a heartwarming story of a dedicated player who was raised on tobacco farm near Port Dover, Ontario, and his rise to NHL fame. The Red Wings only paid him $6,000 a season, including performance bonuses, but Kelly's farm work kept him fed and in top condition. Readers who crave racy revelations of off-ice life won't find them in this memoir of a devout Catholic and family man. But Kelly's play-by-play recollection of games is dynamic, and he offers some no-holds-barred views of the internecine politics of the business. Maple Leafs owner Harold Ballard, who was both caustic and wealthy, is a perfect foil to Kelly's stoicism. This is a must-read for devotees of vintage NHL hockey. (Oct.)