Maple Leafs Hall of Famer Teeder Kennedy dies

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PORT COLBORNE, Ontario (AP) -- Ted "Teeder" Kennedy, who captained the Toronto Maple Leafs to five Stanley Cups during a Hall of Fame career, died Friday. He was 83.

He died of congestive heart failure at a nursing home in his hometown of Port Colborne, son Mark Kennedy said.

Kennedy spent 14 years in the NHL, all with the Maple Leafs. He was a five-time All-Star. The center captained Toronto from 1948 to 1955, when he won the Hart Trophy as league MVP. He was inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame in 1966.

He finished his career with 231 goals and 329 assists in 696 games. He had 29 goals and 31 assists in 78 playoff games.

NHL commissioner Gary Bettman called Kennedy the "embodiment of Maple Leaf success."

"Teeder never wanted to play for any other team, and he never did," Bettman said. "He always wanted what was best for the Leafs, and for 14 superb seasons that is what he helped them achieve through his leadership, his incomparable work ethic and his ferocious will to win."

Hall of Famer Dick Duff recalls how honored he felt when he was given the No. 9 Kennedy had worn.

"At that time, Ted Kennedy was regarded by fans and team ownership as one of, if not, the best player to have ever worn the crest of the Maple Leafs, and I was truly humbled by the gesture," Duff said. "I admired him greatly and I wore his number with tremendous pride."

In addition to his son, Kennedy is survived by his wife, Doreen, two grandchildren and two great-grandchildren.