Rick “Chico” Kehoe
Hockey player, hockey coach
Rick “Chico” Kehoe, born July 15th 1951 is one of the finest hockey players and coaches Windsor has ever produced. The former Toronto Maple Leaf and long time Pittsburgh Penguin managed to have an excellent career and exemplified sportsmanship and talent.
Kehoe grew up in Windsor, playing for the Windsor Minor Hockey Association who honoured his number 17. He graduated from W.F. Herman Secondary School, and was an All-City hockey player in 1968 and 1969. He would go on to have an extremely successful junior hockey career with the London Knights and then the Hamilton Red Wings. His greatest year in junior hockey was with Hamilton, where in 58 games he managed 39 goals and 41 assists. His stellar play caught the eye of the Toronto Maple Leafs, who selected him 22nd overall during the 1971 NHL draft.
His 1971-72 season saw him achieve and over a point per game pace with the Tulsa Oilers, which led to him playing 38 games for the Leafs. This was the starting point for his career as he scored over 30 goals the following year, as he put up 75 points in 77 games. Kehoe had 3 excellent years for the Maple Leafs before he was traded for the 1974-75 to the Penguins. He would play 11 years for the Penguins, and despite playing in one of the most violent eras in hockey history stood out for his examplary play and respect for others. Kehoe’s sportsmanship allowed him to win the Lady Byng trophy in 1981, beating out the likes of Wayne Gretzky and many more.
Kehoe won many awards within the Penguins organization, and finds his name up among the likes of Mario Lemieux, Jaromir Jagr, and other Pittsburgh greats. He won the Max Unger Award as the player’s choice for MVP, led them in points with 60, and goals with 30 during the 1979-80 season. He also led the team in playoff goals, assists, and points during that post-season. He would repeat his Max Unger award in 1980-81, and broke the 50 goal barrier that year potting 55 over the course of the season. He would win the Max Unger award a final time in 1981-82, and led the team in goals again during the 1982-83 season.
Kehoe ended his playing career in 1984-85 with 371 goals, 396 assists, and only 120 penalty minutes in 906 games. He was not done with hockey however; as his astute mind allowed him to quickly transition to other areas of the game. He became the Director of Pro Scouting for the Penguins in 1985, and was named an assistant coach in 1986. His deep hockey knowledge and skill working with others allowed him to contribute to the 1991 and 1992 Stanley Cup Championships won by the Penguins, and so his name appears twice on the Stanley Cup. He remained with the Penguins organization as a scout or assistant until after the 2002-2003 season, and his work saw him become at different points the Head Coach for the Penguins minor league affilliate (Wilkes-Barr/Scranton) and the Head Coach for the Pens themselves.
To read more about Rick Kehoe, we suggest you check out his biography from the Windsor-Essex Sports Hall of fame who made him a member in 1991.