The 1985 Philadelphia Flyers had an unforgettable team with two first-team All-Stars
The 2018 NHL All-Star Game was this weekend. Since the Philadelphia Flyers don’t play again until Wednesday, a stroll down memory lane will have to make due. Let’s go back to 1985, a very good year for the Broad Street Bullies.
It was during that season the Flyers had two first-team All-Stars. They were a part of a pretty unforgettable All-Star Game.
1980 Miracle Connection
Watching Miracle brings back so many happy memories. There is, however, one moment that is bittersweet. The 1980 US team had one tie, which saved their medal chance. This tie was against Sweden. The goaltender for that team was Flyers prospect Pelle Lindbergh, who was elected to represent the Flyers in the 1985 NHL All-Star Game.
Just hearing ‘Save by Lindbergh!’ during Miracle opens a wound that will most likely never heal for long time Flyers fans. Pelle was killed at the height of his career in November of 1985. His death was a result of one tragic mistake – he got behind the wheel of his very powerful Porsche after having too much to drink. Many who are too young to remember Lindbergh see only his death, not the promise his life held.
In one of his last interviews, recorded the summer before his death, Pelle talked about that 1980 Dream Team. Sweden being the only team that did not lose to Team USA during those Olympics was one of his proudest accomplishments. The mere thought of it brought one of Lindbergh’s trademark million watt smiles.
A Garlic Milkshake
The other Flyer at the 1985 NHL All-Star Game was Tim Kerr. He was once described as “stronger than a garlic milkshake”. Kerr was the definition of a power forward. During the 1984-85 season, he scored 58 goals and had 26 assists. He still tops the Flyer’s franchise list of power play goals with 145.
Kerr was plagued by injuries. Because of this, he was hurt for most of the Flyers 1985 Stanley Cup Finals. Most pontificators believe that had Kerr been healthy, the Stanley Cup would have been paraded down Broad Street once again. Unfortunately, the Flyers lost to the Edmonton Oilers in five games.
Kerr and Lindbergh had more in common than the 1985 All-Star Game. Both have a piece of the Flyers tragic history. Kerr’s first wife died on October 16, 1990, 10 days after the birth of their first child. He won the Bill Masterson Trophy that same year, but was left unprotected in the 1991 expansion draft and was selected by the San Jose Sharks.
Lindbergh was the winner of the 1985 Vezina Trophy and was presented that award by his idol, Flyers legend Bernie Parent. He was not satisfied with that trophy because he wanted the Stanley Cup that had been denied the previous year.
It was surely his in 1986, he thought. Fate had other plans. Pelle’s death shook a young Flyers team to their core, and they never recovered. They lost in the first round of the playoffs to the New York Rangers. Another promising young goalie would take them to the Finals the following year, but that is a story for another day.