The Philadelphia Flyers teams of the 1980s are remembered as really good teams that just couldn’t get over hump -- especially against the super-powered, Wayne Gretzky-led Edmonton Oilers in 1985 and 1987 -- and bring the Stanley Cup back to Philadelphia.
The Flyers teams of that decade are also remembered for their crazy goaltender who would recklessly swing his stick at an opponent’s legs without any warning (wonder what that guy is up to these days) and for having plenty of dangerous goal-scorers.
But you may not realize just how good one of those dangerous goal-scorers was.
Grantland’s Sean McIndoe, aka Down Goes Brown, recently wrote an article highlighting just how absurd the NHL was in the 1980s from an offensive standpoint. In the article, he devotes a solid portion to Flyers legend Tim Kerr and the potential that fans may historically underrate Kerr’s goal-scoring prowess.
McIndoe goes into how Kerr, who played with the Flyers from 1980-91, stacks up against other legendary goal-scorers.
Kerr’s .565 goals per game is 11th all-time and ranks him higher than the likes of Bobby Clarke, Ron Francis, Peter Forsberg, Mike Modano, Stan Mikita, Mark Messier, Bobby Orr, Jean Beliveau, Gordie Howe, Maurice Richard and Phil Esposito, just to name a few.
That list could go on and on and on, but you get the point by now. He was 10th all-time before Steven Stamkos recently knocked him from that perch.
By the way, all of those guys listed above are Hockey Hall of Famers, obviously minus Stamkos. Kerr is not a Hockey Hall of Famer. As a matter for fact, the highest Kerr ever finished in Hart Trophy voting was eighth in 1985-86 when he scored 58 goals.
As McIndoe notes, Kerr’s accomplishments are even more impressive when you remember he went undrafted in 1980 before coming to Philadelphia and missed most of the 1982-83 and 1987-88 seasons with injuries.
For a more local perspective of his career, Kerr is third in team history with 363 goals and sixth with 650 points. He’s the franchise’s all-time leader with 145 power-play goals.
During a four-season stretch from 1983-84 to 1986-87, Kerr scored 54, 54, 58 and 58 goals, respectively.
Say what you want about shoddy defense and goaltending during that era, but Tim Kerr was pretty damn good historically.