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Hockey legend Purple Kelly – “a gentleman, a powerhouse” – passes away at 91

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The hockey world misplaced an icon on Thursday with the passing of NHL legend Purple Kelly. The eight-time Stanley Cup champion and the primary ever winner of the Norris Trophy was 91.Purple Kelly and spouse Andra Kelly (proper) with household |Dave Reginek/NHLI by way of Getty ImagesLeonard Patrick ‘Purple’ Kelly, an eight-time Stanley Cup champion and Hockey Corridor of Fame member, handed away on Thursday on the age of 91.
Kelly will endlessly be remembered as one in every of hockey’s all-time greats.  He was versatile, taking part in each protection and heart in his profession. In 1997, The Hockey Information listed Kelly because the 22nd finest participant of all time, and for good purpose: Kelly was inducted into the Hockey Corridor of Fame as a participant in 1969 after amassing 823 factors in over 1300 video games performed. On the finish of his taking part in profession, Kelly was seventh in profession factors and second in video games performed.
Kelly grew up on his household’s farm in Simcoe, Ont., a small group in southwestern Ontario with a inhabitants as we speak of simply lower than 14,000. Kelly grew up taking part in on out of doors rinks earlier than leaving for the powerhouse hockey program at St. Michael’s School in Toronto. He was reduce by a number of groups on the college however would later make the midget crew. Kelly would assist St. Mike’s win the 1947 Memorial Cup, making his first begin with Detroit the following season. One Toronto scout stated Kelly wouldn’t final 20 video games within the NHL, however an harm to one in every of Detroit’s defenseman allowed Kelly to earn extra ice time within the crew’s lineup, and the remaining, as they are saying, is historical past.

The #NHLAlumni is devastated to announce that Purple Kelly has handed away at 91. The HHOF defenseman gained eight Stanley Cups, a Norris Trophy and four Woman Byng Trophies. A gentleman, a powerhouse defenseman and an honoured member of the #NHLAlumni Affiliation, Purple will probably be drastically missed. pic.twitter.com/jnk05NzsTA
— NHL Alumni (@NHLAlumni) Might 2, 2019

Kelly went on to win eight Stanley Cups, 4 with Detroit and 4 with Toronto. In all, he performed in 12 Cup finals throughout his 20-year profession. Kelly was the primary winner of the Norris Trophy because the league’s prime defenseman and was a first-team all-star six instances as a blueliner. Kelly completed within the prime 10 in scoring in simply his second season at ahead with a career-high 70-point marketing campaign.
Whereas Kelly was nonetheless in an energetic participant with the Toronto Maple Leafs through the early 1960s, he served as a Liberal Member of Parliament within the York West driving. After serving to Toronto win their 13th – and to at the present time, final – Stanley Cup in 1967, Kelly retired from the sport to teach the enlargement Los Angeles Kings in 1967. He’d go on to teach Toronto and the Pittsburgh earlier than finally stepping apart in 1976-77.

RIP Purple Kelly. First photograph: The Purple Wings (and later Maple Leafs) legend is on the left, photograph is from the 1954 Stanley Cup closing towards Montreal. Detroit gained in seven video games. Second photograph: Kelly’s No. four will get retired and raised to the rafters in Detroit in Feb. 2019. #NHL pic.twitter.com/eEqKmFc9F7
— Sam McCaig (@SamMcCaig22) Might 2, 2019

“We’re comforted in realizing that he impacted so many individuals each at and away from the rink and know that his life will probably be celebrated,” Kelly’s household stated in an announcement.
Solely 9 gamers have had their numbers retired by a couple of crew, with Kelly’s #four hanging excessive within the rafters in Detroit and Toronto. Kelly’s likeness was immortalized exterior of the Scotiabank Enviornment in 2017, becoming a member of Frank Mahovlich, Charlie Conacher and Wendel Clark on legends row. This previous February, Purple Wings followers gave Kelly along with his spouse, Andra, and household in tow, a standing ovation.
Not dangerous for a participant who nearly didn’t make it to the large leagues.
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