Red Kelly, the NHL veteran and Hall of Famer, has died aged 91.

For many NHL fans, the name Red Kelly means something positive. The Stanley-Cup winning legend was a 20-season veteran of the sport. The impressive way in which he carried himself in a very challenging time for hockey has been an inspiration to players who came in the generations to come. As part of four Stanley Cup winning sides, the defenseman was a major part of two sides; the Detroit Red Wings, where he played from 1947-1960, and the Toronto Maple Leafs, who he played with from 1960-67.

On top of this, Kelly finished up with eight championship medals – more than any player in the history of the sport who never played for the Montreal Canadiens. Kelly is one of the all-time greats of the league and the wider sport.

NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman said: “The National Hockey League mourns the passing of Leonard ‘Red’ Kelly — a man whose hockey career is so storied and distinguished that it may never be duplicated,

“It is no surprise that Red was a fan favorite at the NHL’s Centennial Celebration in 2017, when he endeared himself to an entirely new generation of hockey fans. I was in awe at the reverence and respect today’s players had for him — even though they may have never seen him take the ice.”

A fantastic player who left an obvious mark on the sport, his passing is one that will be felt by the entire NHL fanbase. We can only hope that the end of season, which has promised so much so far, can continue to live up to the high standards of professionalism, entertainment and quality – the likes of Red Kelly set the standard of.

RIP to Red Kelly.

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