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1966-67 Topps Leonard “Red” Kelly Toronto Maple Leafs Autographed Card
Lot #532

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1966-67 Topps Leonard “Red” Kelly Toronto Maple Leafs Autographed Card
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1966-67 Topps Leonard “Red” Kelly Toronto Maple Leafs Autographed Card
Lot #532

Red Kelly played 20 seasons in the NHL for the Red Wings and Maple Leafs. At least in our generation, from a “winner” standpoint, Kelly might be the most underrated player of all time. No player, who hasn’t played for the Montreal Canadiens, has ever won more Stanley Cups than Red Kelly. Kelly started his career in the 1947-48 season for the Wings after the Maple Leafs passed on him. A Maple Leafs scout predicted he wouldn’t last 20 games in the NHL. He played 12 full seasons for the Wings with the team winning 8 regular season championships and 4 Stanley Cups. He also won 3 Lady Byng trophies and the first Norris trophy ever awarded.

Late in the 1958-59 season, Kelly broke his ankle. The Red Wings kept the injury a secret and Kelly continued to play through the pain. The Red Wings missed the playoffs for the first time in 21 years. In the middle of the 1959-60 season, a reporter asked Kelly why his game had been off for most of 1959, Kelly responded “Don’t know, might have been the ankle”. This comment so angered Red Wings general manager Jack Adams that he immediately brokered a trade including Kelly to the New York Rangers. Kelly, not wanted to play for the Rangers, told the Wings that he would retire instead of going to New York. Maple Leafs coach Punch Imlach talked Kelly into playing for him, so he was traded to the Leafs instead of the Rangers.

When Kelly arrived in Toronto he was asked to change positions from defense to center.  It was Imlach’s thinking that Kelly could match up and neutralize Canadiens center Jean Beliveau. With Kelly at center, Frank Mahovlich became one of the best goal scorers in the NHL. In 8 seasons with the Leafs, the team won 4 Stanley Cups and Kelly won another Lady Byng trophy. Kelly was a first or second team NHL All Star 8 times and played in 13 All Star games.  He was elected to the Hockey Hall of Fame in 1969.

The card and signature are in beautiful condition and GAI certified.