Tim Kerr is a retired National Hockey League player who spent 13 seasons with the Philadelphia Flyers, New York Rangers, and Hartford Whalers in the 1980s and early ’90s. He amassed 370 goals and 304 assists for 674 career points in what was a tremendously successful career at hockey’s highest level. Between ’83 and ’87, he managed four consecutive 50-goal seasons.
Kerr was born in Windsor on January 5, 1960. He attended Belle River High School from Grades 9 to 11 before transferring to Kingston Collegiate Institute for Grade 12.
Kerr started skating at five years of age in a backyard rink made by his father. In 1968, at age eight, he was allowed to play in the Bantam age group of the Tecumseh Minor Hockey organization due to his already impressive skillset.
Kerr played for Jim Peck’s Junior B Windsor Royals in 1976-77 before spending three seasons with the Kingston Canadians in the Ontario Major Junior Hockey League. In ’79-80, his final year at that level, Kerr scored 40 goals and 73 points in only 63 games, earning him an All-Star selection and making him Kingston’s leading scorer.
The Philadelphia Flyers signed Kerr in 1980 as an undrafted free agent. He spent 11 seasons with the Flyers, three times (’83-84, ’84-85, and ’86-87) leading the team in scoring. During his time in Philadelphia, Kerr played on four Patrick Division champions and reached two Stanley Cup Finals. Both times, his Flyers fell to the legendary ’80s Edmonton Oilers, which included players like Wayne Gretzky, Mark Messier, Paul Coffey, Jari Kurri, and Kevin Lowe.
In 1986-87, probably his greatest individual season, Kerr was the ninth highest scorer in the NHL with 95 points, which earned him a place as a Second-Team All-Star.
At the time of his induction in the Windsor/Essex County Sports Hall of Fame, Kerr held several marks of distinction. His 34 power play goals in 1985-86, when he was part of a devastating power play unit with players like Brian Propp, Dave Poulin, Pelle Eklund, Mark Howe, and Brad McCrimmon, were the most ever in a single season. In the ’85 playoffs, Kerr scored four goals in a single period of a Stanley Cup Playoffs game, including three on the power play. The feat set the Stanley Cup Playoffs record for Most Power Play Goals in One Period and matched the record for Most Goals in One Period set by Mario Lemieux. In 1989, Kerr scored five power play goals in one playoff series, joint second best all-time. His three hat tricks in the Stanley Cup Playoffs ranked him sixth in NHL history.
Perhaps most impressively, Kerr’s 370 regular season goals were good for 67th all-time, and his 40 Stanley Cup Playoff goals ranked him 35th in NHL history.
Kerr suffered several unfortunate injuries throughout his career, most notably a serious shoulder injury in the 1987 playoffs. He underwent several surgeries over the course of the next year, missed the majority of the ’87-88 season, and was hampered for the remainder of his career. Kerr did manage to score 48 goals in 69 games in ’88-99, which earned him the Bill Masterson Trophy for perseverance and dedication to hockey.
In the twilight of his career, Kerr played one season each for the New York Rangers and Hartford Whalers before retiring in 1993. Upon retirement, he stood at 10th all-time in goals per game (minimum 500 games played).
At the time of his induction, Kerr lived in New Jersey.