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Biofile Bob “Battleship” Kelly Interview

By Scoop Malinowski

Status: NHL left wing for St. Louis, Pittsburgh and Chicago from 1973-1979.

DOB: June 6, 1946 In: Fort William, Ontario

Ht: 6-2 Wt: 195

Hockey Inspirations: Uncle Larry and of course also Gordie Howe was a huge inspiration.

First Hockey Memory: Scoring the winning goal in Pee-Wee Championsip.

Nicknames: “Battleship” – nickname from George Patrick Duffy, the PR & Marketing guy for the Providence Reds in 1969. Scott Garland and other teammates called me ‘The Smiling Killer’ because I guess I used to smile during fights.

Last Book Read: Winds Of War – Herman Wouk.

First Famous Player You Met Or Encountered: Gordie Howe – five years old.

Greatest Career Moment: Being inducted into the Northwestern (Ontario) Hockey Hall of Fame (in 2017). Also scoring the winning goal in the Pee-Wee Championship game.

Most Painful Career Moment: Hit with a heal of a stick in my eye – was told I’d be blind in the eye. Columbus in IHL.

Most Memorable Goal: Two goals against Ken Dryden first time in old Montreal Forum (with St. Louis).

Funniest Player Encountered: Dennis Hull.

Funny Hockey Memory: After pounding Dave (“The Hammer”) Schultz, he wanted a third fight. I said, “I’m not wasting my knuckles on your cement head.”

Fiercest Competitors Encountered: Terry O’Reilly. Kevin Morrison. Keith Magnuson.

Closest Hockey Friends: Dave Burrows. Jean Pronovost. Ron Stackhouse. Lowell McDonald.

Favorite Rinks To Play: Montreal Forum. Boston Garden. Oakland California Coliseum – my only hat trick. Detroit Olympia Stadium.

Least Favorite Rink To Play: Madison Square Garden – The ice was the worst.

Favorite Uniforms: Toronto Maple Leafs. Detroit Red Wings. Chicago Blackhawks.

Why Do You Love Hockey: Most exciting sport on earth.

Favorite Players To Watch: Bobby Orr. Gordie Howe. Jean Beliveau. Sid Crosby. Connor McDavid.

Most Memorable Fights: Probably Kevin Morrison in the AHL. But the Schultz fights got a lot of press.

People Qualities Most Admired: Straight-forward, honest, loyalty.

Favorite Artist: Nick Marra. He forced me to say it [smiles].

(Nick Marra sculpture.)

Career Accomplishments: Scored 87 goals with 109 assists for 196 points in 425 NHL games; Added six playoff goals in 23 career playoff matches; Was Toronto’s first round draft choice 16th overall in 1967 amateur draft.

(Note: This Biofile interview was made possible by Nick Marra.)

Bob “Battleship” Kelly inducted into Northwestern Ontario Hall of Fame

About Mark Malinowski

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