Tim Kerr – One of my favorite all-time Philadelphia Flyers.
He is one of the main reasons I fell in love with Flyers hockey as a kid and as a matter of fact, Tim Kerr’s #12 jersey was the very first jersey I owned. I begged my parents to get it for me and I was so happy when they did. I wore that jersey almost daily with so much pride.
So why am I telling you this? Well on June 12th of this year, I put out this tweet.
Good morning @NHLFlyers fans!! Welcome to June 12th, or as I like to call it “one day closer to having #Flyers hockey back”! Speaking of 12, who wore the no. 12 better? Tim Kerr or Simon Gagne? pic.twitter.com/kjOWrV7ivG
— Tommy Tomasino (@TommyTomasino) June 12, 2020
I asked, “Who wore #12 better, Tim Kerr or Simon Gagne”?
Now the tweet got a bunch of interactions with comments and statements from followers, but some of them said something like “I never saw Kerr play, so I’m going with Gagne”, which is fine.
I mean I absolutely LOVED Simon Gagne and everything he did for the Flyers, the BIG goals, being a great set-up man, being a great teammate and making everyone around him better. Tim Kerr’s name came up recently during my interview with Flyers legend Brian Propp and I guess having his name so fresh in my mind, it prompted my tweet.
So it occurred to me that there is an entire generation of fans who have never seen the great Tim Kerr play.
While most Flyers fans know of Tim Kerr, I feel like it’s my obligation to “re-introduce” those fans to one of the most underrated Philadelphia Flyers players of all time: Tim Kerr.
In 1980, the Flyers signed Kerr as an undrafted free agent. The giant 6’3” right winger’s rise to stardom took a little longer than it should have due to injuries. After scoring a combined 43 goals and 96 points in 129 games in his first 2 seasons in the NHL, Kerr missed most of the 1982-83 season (only 24 games played) with a knee injury and a broken leg. With his size, Kerr was almost immovable in front of the oppositions net. Dubbed “The Sultan of The Slot” Kerr really came into his own starting in the 1983-84 season. That season Kerr scored 54 goals and 93 points, and it was the first of 4 consecutive 50+ goal seasons.
To this day, 4 consecutive 50 goal seasons is still a Flyers record. Starting that season, Kerr scored 54, 54, 58 and 58 goals in those 4 seasons.
To put those 4 consecutive seasons into perspective for you, that’s 224 goals in 4 seasons. Alex Ovechkin, one of the greatest goal scorers of our time’s best 4 consecutive seasons goal totals are from 2005 to 2009 where he totaled 219 goals. Simply put, Tim Kerr was an absolute scoring machine. Then the injury bug hit again, and Kerr missed all but 8 games during the 1987-88 season. He followed that up by scoring 48 more goals the following season 1988-89. New York Islander superstar Brian Trottier, who played with what many consider the greatest goal scorer of all-time Mike Bossy, once joked “The only way to stop Kerr is to wrap chains around his arms and legs… and even then, that probably would not stop him”. Kerr was just incredible.
To this day he still holds or shares these 6 NHL records.
- Single-season record for most power-play goals (34 in 1985-86)
- Playoff record for most power-play goals in a period: (3)
- Playoff record for fastest 4-goals in a game: (8:16)
- Playoff record for most goals in a period (4 on April 13, 1985)
- Playoff record for most points in one period: (4)
- Playoff record for most goals by a player not to make Stanley Cup Finals (14)
While most players will never score 34 goals in 1 season, Kerr scored 34 powerplay goals in 1 season! An NHL record that may never be broken. And as you can see, Kerr also came to play in the playoffs. He was just relentless. As Brian Propp told us during that interview, he and most observers will tell you that if the team wasn’t so banged up and Kerr hadn’t gotten injured in 1987, a season that finished with the Flyers losing game 7 of the Stanley Cup Finals to the Edmonton Oilers, that the Philadelphia Flyers would have no doubt won that cup. The Flyers were just that good with Tim Kerr and Ron Hextall leading the way.
Here are Tim Kerr’s 4 goals in 8:16 in a playoff game in 1985 against the rival New York Rangers.
To this day, Tim Kerr holds 23 Flyers franchise records. Most notably: Most 50 goals seasons, most career power-play goals (145), Most career hat tricks (17), Highest career goals per game average (0.60), fastest 4 goals in the playoffs (8:16). The list goes on and on.
Kerr led the entire NHL in powerplay goals in 3 consecutive seasons from 1984 to 1987, during an era which the NHL had Wayne Gretzky, Mario Lemieux and a ton of other hall of famers in its league. And if things got messy, Tim Kerr could handle himself physically.
I’m sure you’ll all have a smile on your face as you watch Kerr pummelling Mike Milbury in this clip.
Hey, maybe this is why Milbury hates the Flyers so much.
In 601 games in 11 seasons with the Philadelphia Flyers, Tim Kerr scored 363 goals and 650 points, that’s an average of 0.60 goals per game. In his entire career that average is 0.565 ranking him 10th ALL-TIME in NHL history.
Not only is Tim Kerr one of the greatest Philadelphia Flyers of all time, he is without a doubt one of the greatest goal scorers in NHL history and it’s time he is recognized as one.
Tim Kerr not being in the Hockey hall of fame is a complete tragedy and the NHL has completely dropped the ball on this one. Shame on you NHL, shame on you.
Featured Image: NHL.com