The term 'power forward' was clearly applicable to Philadelphia Flyers' right winger Tim Kerr.
Knee and shoulder surgeries limited the number of games that he was able to play during his 13-season career. But, the offensive numbers that he posted while healthy (or semi-healthy) will always be worthy of deep respect.
Kerr was signed by the Flyers as an undrafted free agent in October 1979. He scored 22 goals (six on the power play) in 68 games during his rookie season in 1980-81. The 6 foot 3 inch, 230 pounder continued to wear number 12 on the back of his orange jersey through the 1990-91 season.
This right wing scored 50+ goals (54, 54, 58, 58) in four consecutive seasons (1983-84 - 1986-87). During those years he scored 224 goals in 304 games. Only 336 players have ever scored more goals in their entire careers in NHL history.
Kerr set two astonishing records in one period during the deciding game of the 1985 Patrick Division Semifinals against the New York Rangers. He scored four goals within 8 minutes and 16 seconds in the second period, which represented the most goals that had ever been scored in one playoff period in NHL history. Those goals, which were also the fastest to have ever been scored in an NHL playoff game, helped the Flyers to beat the Rangers 6-5 and to sweep the series 3-0.
The Ontario native continues to lead all Flyers' right wingers in goals (363) and points (650). He is also the the team's all-time power play goal (145) leader. Among that total, the 34 power play goals that he scored in 1985-86 still rank first as an NHL single-season record.
The consequences of physical punishment
The physical punishment Kerr endured by standing in front of the opposition's goal crease had a devastating affect on his career by the time he was 30.
After only appearing in 27 regular season games in the 1990-91 season, Philadelphia left him exposed in the expansion draft. He was selected by the San Jose Sharks, who immediately traded him to the Rangers for Brian Mullen. Kerr played 32 regular season games for New York in 1991-92 and netted seven goals, five of which came on the power play.
After one season with the Rangers, Kerr was traded to the Hartford Whalers for future considerations. He wasn't able to push the puck over the goal line during the 22 regular season games that he appeared in and left the ice for the last time after the 1992-93 season.
After retiring from hockey, Kerr has worked in the real estate, insurance, and securities fields. He has also been heavily involved in many charitable causes that benefit physically and mentally challenged children.
An ideal Flyer
Brian Propp, Dave Poulin, and Kerr helped to form one of the best lines in Flyers' history. Most fans would have to acknowledge that Kerr would also start at right wing on any all-time Flyers' team.
Sean O'Brien is based in the Philadelphia region. He has written professionally for over two decades and is currently a Featured Contributor for Yahoo! You can follow him on Twitter @SeanyOB and also read his daily Sports Blog: Insight.
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