Date of Birth: 1941
Place of Birth: Bell Island, Nfld.
Inducted: 1999 (Player Category)
Mike Kelly owns a 12-year hockey career overflowing with accomplishments and awards.
He was a member of three Herder Memorial Trophy winners, in 1961 with Conception Bay CeeBees, 1963 with Buchans Miners, and 1969 with Gander Flyers. During a 10-year provincial senior hockey stint as one of the finest players produced on Bell Island, he earned accolades for an outstanding player as a left-winger, and is often regarded as the top performer in that position. After playing junior and senior hockey for Bell Island between 1957 and 1960, Kelly journeyed to other top-level teams.
Always a dangerous scorer and a goalmouth opportunist, he established himself as one of the finest point-getters in provincial senior hockey. Between 1962 and 1967, he amassed 295 points in provincial play, second only to Corner Brook’s import playing-coach Frank (Danky) Dorrington who racked up 298 points.
He was provincial scoring champion three times. In 1963 with the Buchans Miners, he had 28 goals and 12 assists for 40 points in a 16-game schedule. With the Gander Flyers in 1966, he compiled 92 points from 44 goals and 48 assists and, in 1967, his 91 points came from 44 goals and 47 assists. He always possessed the ability to score important goals and, in 1961, led Conception Bay in scoring in the Herder finals with Gander.
Mike Kelly was of such a high standard that he had several serious offers to play with teams outside the province. In 1966, he was offered a tryout with Canada’s national team but was unable to join the national squad in Winnipeg because of family commitments. In 1962 and ’63, he had a tryout with Quebec Aces of the American Hockey League, and turned down an offer to play in the Eastern Hockey League. He declined an offer from the Florida Rockers of the Eastern Hockey League in 1967 as he continued to play important roles with provincial senior hockey teams. In addition to his natural talent, Mike Kelly displayed excellent leadership and earned a reputation for giving 100 per cent effort in every game in which he played.
Along with hockey, Mike Kelly enjoyed considerable success in baseball and track and field.