Friday night, the Chicago Blackhawks will honor Steve Larmer with the second edition of “One More Shift.”
At some point, his number should be retired; that honor is well overdue. Indeed, Larmer’s banner should hang where he spent his early career: on the right side of Denis Savard.
Larmer won the Stanley Cup with the New York Rangers, Friday night’s opponent at the United Center, after being traded on Nov. 2, 1993. His coach in New York: Mike Keenan.
Entering Friday, here’s where Larmer ranks in Blackhawks history:
- Points: 4th (923)
- Goals: 3rd (406)
- Assists: 5th (517)
- Plus-Minus: 2nd (+182)
- Game-Winning Goals: 2nd (49)
- Short-Handed Goals: 3rd (19 – tied with Jeremy Roenick)
- Games Players: 7th (891)
The only player ahead of Larmer in plus-minus and game-winning goals in Jonathan Toews, the only active player to rank ahead of Larmer in any category entering Friday (Brent Seabrook and Duncan Keith should both pass him in games played this season).
He wasn’t only a great regular season player. In 140 career Stanley Cup Playoff games, Larmer posted 131 points (56 goals, 75 assists). Larmer was also dominant on the international stage, leading the 1991 Canada Cup in goals (six) and finishing the tournament ranked second with 11 points while representing Canada.
Larmer played his final regular season game with the Blackhawks at the end of the 1992-93 season, and yet he still ranks in the top five of every major offensive category 24 years later. To have that kind of staying power – in the record books of an Original Six franchise nonetheless – is remarkable. And should be recognized, formally.
But Larmer also ranks among the most productive right wings in NHL history. Consider the following list of 11 names – the only 11 right wings in NHL history to average at least 1.0 point per game with more than 1,000 career points.
- Jaromir Jagr**
- Gordie Howe – HOF
- Teemu Selanne*
- Jari Kurri – HOF
- Brett Hull – HOF
- Guy Lafleur – HOF
- Mike Bossy – HOF
- Theo Fleury
- Joe Mullen – HOF
- Alex Mogilny
- Steve Larmer
* = Selanne is not yet eligible for induction
** = Jagr is still active
The of the ten other right wings to qualify, six are in the Hall of Fame and two more most certainly will be when they are eligible (assuming Jagr ever retires).
When Marian Hossa reached 1,000 points in Oct. 2014, Ken Campbell at The Hockey News thought through his Hall of Fame case. He appropriately made the comparison to Larmer, but fell short of saying what we firmly believe: Larmer should have been in the Hall years ago.