March 7, 2019 1:50 pm
Updated: March 7, 2019 6:04 pm

‘We just lost a giant today’: Former Saint John Sea Dogs equipment manager David ‘DK’ Kelly dies

WATCH: The beloved former equipment manager for the Saint John Sea Dogs, David “DK” Kelly, has died. As Silas Brown reports, Kelly logged over 800 games as head equipment manager over 13 years and is bring fondly remembered by the team and its fans.


Beloved former equipment manager for the Saint John Sea Dogs, David “DK” Kelly, has died.

Kelly passed away Wednesday night after battling cancer since 2014.

“Saint John’s lost a true living superhero, an everyday superhero,” said Saint John-Rothesay MP and former Sea Dogs President Wayne Long.

“He was the first guy I hired with the Saint John Sea Dogs. We developed a friendship, a relationship.”

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Kelly logged over 800 games as head equipment manager over 13 years, winning three President’s Cups and a Memorial Cup with the team. But his legacy will extend far past the confines of Harbour Station.

“Three President’s Cup, a Memorial Cup for DK, that’s great,” said Sea Dogs President and General Manager Trevor Georgie.

“But I think the stories of him injecting life, injecting fight, and injecting passion and drive and resilience into a global world of people dealing with all kinds of different things — specifically cancer — is what his legacy will be.”

Kelly was diagnosed with medullary thyroid cancer in 2014 and sparked a global kindness movement with #TeamDK on social media. He also started the Monkey Band-Aid apparel project to help fund Saint John Regional Hospital’s oncology department education fund.

WATCH: Saint John Sea Dogs rally behind player with cancer

“What DK has brought to — not only the Saint John Sea Dogs and Major Junior Hockey — but just brought to the culture and everybody across southern New Brunswick will never be forgotten. He’s a true superhero in my eyes and we’ve just lost a giant today,” Long said.

Though many will remember DK for his philanthropic efforts, which he left the team in 2018 to pursue full time, Georgie says it’s the small personal moments that he will carry with him.

“When I think of DK I don’t think of the hockey as much. I really think of the personal conversations actually in this room. DK always spoke so highly of his nephew, Jacob, and I have a nephew who’s similar age and we exchanged stories and compared notes about funny things they do,” he said.

“For me I’ll always remember standing at this doorway, him at the desk just chatting about that. Those are the memories that I kind of replay on a day like today.”

DK will be honoured with a moment of silence before the Sea Dogs face against the Acadie-Bathurst Titan at Harbour Station Thursday night.

© 2019 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

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