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Kerr wouldn't sell himself short with Rangers

Goalie retired one year after winning Cup rather than accept team's contract offer

by Stan Fischler / Special to

Legendary hockey reporter and analyst Stan Fischler writes a weekly scrapbook for Fischler, known as "The Hockey Maven," will share his knowledge, humor and insight with readers each Wednesday. Once a month, he will let a picture from his vast collection do the talking in his "Picture is Worth 100 Words" feature.

This month, he writes about goalie Dave Kerr, who helped the New York Rangers win the Stanley Cup in 1940.


There's a good reason for goalie Dave Kerr to be smiling in this picture; he had helped the New York Rangers win the Stanley Cup in 1940. New York's six-game victory in the Cup Final against the Toronto Maple Leafs came after Kerr had led the NHL with a 1.54 goals-against average, was named an NHL First-Team All-Star and won the Vezina Trophy after the Rangers allowed the fewest goals in the League. At one point, he went 19 games (14 wins, five ties) without a loss.

Two years earlier, Kerr had also become the first hockey player to be pictured on the cover of Time magazine (March 14, 1938).

At age 30, it looked like Kerr had plenty of good hockey ahead of him. But one year later, he wasn't smiling anymore. Before the 1941-42 season, he opted to retire at age 31.

"It was a matter of principle," Ken Campbell, a columnist for The Hockey News, wrote decades later of Kerr's decision to quit. "Kerr ended his career because he felt he wasn't making a fair wage. He left when GM Lester Patrick refused to pay him $10,000 a season!"

Instead of playing goal for the Rangers, the Toronto native went into business, ultimately investing in hotels in Belleville, Ontario, where he died on May 11, 1978.

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