Thursday

Dave Kerr

After bouncing around with the Montreal Maroons and New York Americans and several senior league circuits where he established his reputation, Davey Kerr gained fame when he joined the New York Rangers in 1934. In Manhattan he became one of the league's best netminders until his retirement in 1941.

His best season was the 1939-40 campaign. He won his only Vezina Trophy as the league's top goalie with a 1.54 GAA and a league leading 8 shutouts. Then in the playoffs he was spectacular in leading the Rangers to their now-famous 1940 Stanley Cup championship. He was also named to the First All Star Team that year.

But even before that legendary season he was a hit. In fact, on March 18th, 1938, Kerr became the first hockey player to be pictured of Time Magazine. He was hockey's first cover boy.

The Toronto born Kerr was extremely popular with the fans, in part because he was as agile as a ballet dancer. He loved to do the splits to take away the entire lower part of the net. In practice one of Davey's favorite maneuvers was to lay his stick across the goal mouth in front of the goal line while he did the splits to take away the lower portion. Then he'd have both hands free to catch his teammates practice shots. He would dare his buddies to beat him, and they rarely did.

One of the most impressed was teammate and later Ranger coach Frank Boucher.

"Kerr was gifted with an excellent right hand that picked off shots like Bill Terry playing first for the (Baseball's NY) Giants. He was deliberate and methodical in everything he did. Davey retired long before his time, when he was at his peak and only 30 years old," said Boucher.

Boucher, one of the all time greats, also saw Kerr as a leader. Davey was very vocal in the nets, often instructing his team, almost acting as an on-ice coach.

"In a commanding way, Davey was able to shout at his defensemen, giving them guidance without offending them and getting them to do the job he wanted done in front of him, talking continually when the puck was in our end. I don't ever remember Dave accusing a defense player for a mistake when a goals was scored against him. He always assumed the blame," said Boucher.

1 comments:

Brandon M.,  6:18 PM  

Dave Kerr is buried in the Belleville Cemetery. I work there and have seen his stone. I forget which section it is in but he is there.

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