Dan Kelly

Dan KellyBirthplace
Ottawa, Ontario

September 17, 1936

February 10, 1989

Jay Randolph, the St. Louis Blues’ first season television play-by-play announcer listened to a tape for a few minutes and then said to Sid Salomon Jr. the teams’ owner, “He sounds pretty good to me, who is he?” Salomon answered, “His name is Dan Kelly and he’s been working up in Ottawa, a young guy I think we’re going to hire.”

From a humble beginning to a continent-wide household name, Dan Kelly’s history includes a successful stop along the way at CKSO. He would become known as the voice of hockey across North America, handling prestigious play-by-play broadcasts on network television in the States, Hockey Night in Canada, USA Network and CTV. Between 1969 and 1988 he handled 16 Stanley Cup Finals. He was the lead play-by-play hockey announcer for CTV covering the 1988 Calgary Winter Olympics. His booming call, “He shoots ... he SCORRRES!” became his signature. Dan revealed it was patterned after NHL’s Foster Hewitt.

Patrick Daniel “Dan” Kelly was born September 17, 1936 in Ottawa, Ontario. Dan came to CKSO about 1958. The late Pat Marsden, in an interview with a Toronto sportscaster years ago, regaled a story about being invited to a job interview at a radio station in Blind River. Dan and Pat were friends from Ottawa and so on his way, Pat stopped in Sudbury for a visit with Dan. The two partied late into the night rendering Pat in a rough state of affairs the next morning. Pat did make it to Blind River and did get the job!

Dan Kelly headed for CBOT TV, Ottawa in 1968. Well known Hub Beaudry was Dan’s assistant and took over for him upon Dan’s departure. It wasn’t long before Dan Kelly left Ottawa as a result of the Blues’ coach, Scotty Bowman urging Dan to join their organization. The St. Louis Blues’ owner, Sid Salomon Jr., along with Robert Hyland managed the team’s home radio station KMOX 1120 AM. Salomon invited Jay Randolph, the Blues’ first season television play-by-play announcer to listen to a tape. Salomon asked Randolph what he thought about the recording. Randolph replied, “He sounds pretty good to me, who is he?” Salomon answered, “His name is Dan Kelly and he’s been working up in Ottawa, a young guy I think we’re going to hire”, and so they did! Upon Dan’s 1968 departure from CBOT in Ottawa, Hub Beaudry was invited to head to that city and once again replace Kelly. Taking the station up on its invitation, Hub Beaudry and his family made the move to the nation’s capital.

Dan Kelly would be best known for his radio play-by-play coverage of the St. Louis Blues from the team’s second season. He remained with the organization for more than twenty years, up to the time of his death. Dan’s play-by-play coverage extended beyond hockey, having broadcast NFL for CBS Sports, Missouri Tigers football, St. Louis Cardinals baseball and St. Louis Cardinals football for St. Louis radio station KMOX throughout his broadcast career.

With the Blues’ trips to the Stanley Cup finals in 1968-69 and again in 1969-70 Dan Kelly was behind the microphone. He had the prestigious honour of calling what was one of the greatest moments in hockey history, Bobby Orr’s famous sudden-death overtime Stanley Cup winning goal against St. Louis on May 10, 1970.

Kelly was a role model for up and coming broadcasters. Former defenseman Joe Micheletti began his broadcasting career as Kelly’s partner on KXOK in the 1980s. Micheletti described Dan as being “blatantly” honest adding that anything said must be proven. Exercising the ability to back it up was the only option. Dan Kelly was also said to be a perfectionist and a no-nonsense broadcaster. He would pull no punches on or off the air and he was not afraid to critique the players face-to-face.

Dan Kelly passed away on February 10, 1989 in Chesterfield, St. Louis County. Suffering from lung cancer, he was just 52. He was named to the Hockey Hall of Fame on October 3, 1989. He was also posthumously awarded the Lester Patrick Trophy and the Foster Hewitt Memorial Award. In 2006 the St. Louis Blues dedicated the Scottrade Center Press Box in honour of Kelly. The Scottrade Center was renamed Enterprise Center in 2018.

St. Louis Blues’ officials credited Dan Kelly with his loyalty to the organization all through its ups and downs and while we have all heard talk of franchise players, Dan has been described as a franchise broadcaster. They also credited Kelly as being “the best public relations and marketing tool the Blues ever had”. His sons, John and Danny, have followed in his footsteps as hockey broadcasters. Kelly and his wife, Fran, had six children.

Sport media | Air Jordan