As Red Kelly's casket emerged from the Holy Rosary Church with an honor of Maple Leaf's alumni, a tiny patch of blue and white broke through the cloudy sky.
A suit end to Friday's service that highlighted Kelly's 91 years; The devout Catholic, family man and among the most famous hockey players.
"He's just a great guy, one of those all-titers," said Eddie Shack, his teammate by four Stanley Caps, including the Lapps last in 1967. "He played defense, he came here (from the winning practice Caps in Detroit, played center and won four more. One of the greatest hockey players, in coaching, too. And he never swore. "
Shack is connected by unpermitted Pallearers Frank Mahowlich, Bob Bone, Dave Keon, Dick Duff, Ron Ellis, Darryl Sittler, Lanny McDonald and Jim Gregory. Also in meeting the packed Almeni claims and friends was Leaff's President Brendan Shanahan, General Manager Calle Dubas, commission of commission GHL Betman, new Detroit GM Steve Izerman and Wings President Chris Ilitch.
This St. Claire Ave. W. The church is home to the home of Kelly, Kelly, next to his beloved Alma Mater. Michael's College. The homeowner was delighted by a good friend Monsignor Robert Nucca and the final commendation of Cardinal Thomas Collins, an Archbishop of Toronto. Family members led by daughter Casey gave readings.
"I thank this example of a very talented man," Nucca said, "an illustrious professional athlete, a coach, a member of parliament (Kelly serving in Ottawa, while sustaining his lectures playing career). I will always remember a real gentleman with A wonderful sense of humor. "
Nouska joked as excited he was when Kelly's statue was announced for Legends Row at Scottish Bank Arena a few years ago.
Nucca playfully suggested it was first placed in the church and Kelly, unsure if he was serious, insisted that such a display was not Allowed.
"We were really lucky, just during our 100th birthday, that all our alumni stories came to the surface," said Shanahan. "A new generation of fans got to know Red."
Sports like sports like Kelly, who put such a humble example in everyday life, aren't too common in the modern athletic landscape.
"Red is just one of the most beautiful people you ever meet," said McDonald, who was Roy Roy from West Canada when Kelly was in the mid-1970s. "And Andrew and Andrew's (wife's) wife would have passed us for the first few years of dinner. I didn't know what a player you didn't make."
"I wasn't trying to get on the power play, that's just the way they are," he said. "They make me feel so comfortable and really responsible for helping me get over the hame."
McDonald, now chairman of the Hall of Fame, why Kelly was elected in 1969, named his own daughter Andrew.
"More than anything, he is a hero to all of us – as he lived his life, as he opened his house to strangers, made them feel comfortable," he said. "That's what family is all about."
"The hockey world is famous for family, and he was one of the kind," McDonald added.
Gregory was GM of the league when Kelly Coached and remarked Kelly came through the tumultuous Harold Ballard Ownership without losing his cool.
"If you ever wanted an idol to model for yourself, you couldn't go wrong with Red," Gregory said.
Marveled at Kelley's championship.
"Eight caps are a pretty good number," said Banun. "As an athlete, no one ever challenged him. I heard that he is a great fighter, but we never saw any of them.
"My memory of him was like a silent pussy. We have a lot of things in common, both farmers, me of Saskatchewan, him of the tobacco country of Simcoe and of dehliy," Baan said.
"Never changed, always thoughtful and caring. He never telegraphed that, but one thing you knew he was as honest as the day is."
"Gordy Hove and Ted Lindsay gave a pair of Siamese cats like a wedding present. (Red and Andrew) bred them and I wound up with two. He used to chase the cat around my house with an umbrella, a mischievous side of the talk. Never seen, "said Baun.
Bettman has relegated Kelly to the first live member of the NHL's Top 100 he called to congratulate when the list was compiled for the League's 2017 year.
"He said to me," it's only the second call I've ever gotten out of the league. The first one was when I wouldn't report to the Rangers (a 1960 deal with Detroit) And Clarence called Campbell. This is much better. & # 39; "
In Legends Row a book of consoles for the family is available on Friday for fans to sign. The troops won by Kelly – the Norwegians and Lady Bong – were 67 leaflets jersey, portrait like a wing, and some of his championship rings were on display.