Steve Larmer: His Case For The Hockey Hall of Fame

The Hockey Hall of Fame will announce the Class of 2013 on Tuesday, and it isn’t likely that Steve Larmer’s name will get called. With Chris Chelios headlining a group that still includes Jeremy Roenick, Brendan Shanahan and Pat Burns, there are a few candidates that should be slam dunks for induction this year.

But Larmer is worthy of being in the Hall of Fame. Here’s why his name should be called.


Larmer was, with Denis Savard and Doug Wilson, the identity of the Chicago Blackhawks during the 1980s. He didn’t miss a game for a decade, and each of his NHL seasons was followed by a playoff appearance.

But Larmer was a Blackhawk, playing most of his career in Chicago in the shadow of Savard. And he was a right wing, spending most of his career in the shadow of Jari Kurri’s incredible decade in Edmonton.

Ultimately, it may be the lack of a Stanley Cup championship that diminishes the way history remembers the Chicago careers of Larmer and Wilson, among others, but the case is easily made that Larmer should be in the Hall of Fame.

Larmer did win the Stanley Cup with the Rangers. He also won the Calder Memorial Trophy and was named the NHL “Man of the Year” by The Sporting News after the 1990-91 season. He played in 884 consecutive games and 13 consecutive postseasons.

But those accolades aren’t good enough for the Hall of Fame. So let’s compare Larmer to a few right wingers that are already in the Hall.

lannyLanny McDonald was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 1992 after a stellar career that included exactly 500 goals in 1,111 games. Like Larmer, he won one Stanley Cup (with the Flames in 1989).

However, McDonald averaged less than one point-per-game over his career, and had fewer game-winning, powerplay and short-handed goals than Larmer in spite of playing 105 more regular season games in his career. Larmer, a point-per-game player in his career, was also plus-204 against McDonald’s career plus-41.

mullenJoe Mullen was inducted in 2000. He, like McDonald, reached the magical 500 goal mark just as his career was ending, scoring 502 total.

Mullen, like Larmer, was a point-per-game player throughout his career; Mullen registered 1,063 points in 1,062 games. And Mullen had more game-winning goals (73) than Larmer (60). However, Larmer had more powerplay goals and short-handed goals than Mullen.

Mullen won three Stanley Cups, one of which was with the 1992 Pittsburgh Penguins at the expense of Larmer’s Blackhawks. He also won the Lady Byng twice, and is remembered as one of the best American-born goal scorers ever. Mullen’s career point share (91.1) was just better than Larmer’s (88.1).

neelyCam Neely‘s named was called in 2005 after a career that was spent mostly in Boston. Obviously Neely played a more physical game than Larmer; he eclipsed 100 penalty minutes in a season six straight seasons, while Larmer never had more than 79 PIM in a season.

But Neely, like McDonald, was not a point-per-game player throughout his career. Neely was money when it counted most – 61 game-winning goals in only 726 career regular season games – but had only one short-handed goal in his career, and his total point share of 69.2 is among the lowest in the Hall. Also, Neely never won a Cup as a player.

Glenn Anderson On The IceGlenn Anderson was inducted in 2008, and benefited from playing on the dominant Oilers teams of the 1980s with Kurri, Mark Messier and Wayne Gretzky. He won six Cups, five with the Oilers and one as Larmer’s teammate on the Rangers in 1994.

Anderson did not win a single individual award during his NHL career, and failed to reach the 500 goal plateau. He wasn’t a point-per-game player, either, finishing with 1,099 points in 1,129 regular season games.

Interestingly, Anderson finished with the same career point share as Larmer (88.1) and is the only right wing we’ve listed here that, like Larmer, had a career plus-minus over 200 (Anderson was plus-201, Larmer was plus-204).

Larmer 1There are two major differences between three of these four right wingers and Larmer. One is their place in the Hall of Fame. The other: their number has been retired. Neely’s number hangs in the rafters in Boston, Anderson’s number was retired by the Oilers and no Flames player will ever wear McDonald’s number again. Only Mullen, whose career was split pretty evenly between St. Louis, Calgary and Pittsburgh, hasn’t had his number retired.

If the Blackhawks put Larmer’s name and number 28 into the rafters of the United Center where they belong, perhaps his name will get back into the conversation for Hall of Fame induction.

Now, all we can do is remind hockey fans and writers that Larmer deserves a place among the game’s all-time greats. He he earned it.

13 thoughts on “Steve Larmer: His Case For The Hockey Hall of Fame

  • July 8, 2013 at 10:29 am

    Thats a compelling case Tab thank you. You dont have to convince me though. Larms is my second fave Hawk all time. I feel very fortunate to have seen him play many games with Chicago. He made it look so easy, that was what struck me. He just always seemed to be in a scoring position, moving in and out, always ready to make a play or shoot on net. His shots always seemed to be on net too. Thats what I remember. Great 2way guy, great teammate, ironman, smoker ha! He did it all !! I don’t like seeing someone wearing 28 now, but thats just me

  • July 8, 2013 at 10:41 am

    Thanks Tab for continuing with this…Steve Larmer is one of my favourite players of all time, in any sport…I don’t need to go into all of his superlatives, but suffice it to say, Larmer did EVERYTHING the HOF way…on and off the ice. The guy is a legend…to not have his # and jersey hanging in the rafters in Chicago is ridiculous, and the great Rocky Wirtz needs to amend this oversight this year…and let’s all keep pushing until this fantastic hockey player is in the Hall…again, thanks.

  • July 8, 2013 at 11:37 am

    On board with this 100%… he should absolutly be in the Hall.

  • July 8, 2013 at 12:08 pm

    That he isn’t in the hall, and that his # isn’t in the rafters at the United Centre, are utterly and completely ridiculous. One of the best all-around right wingers to ever play the game, and one of the greatest people you could ever meet. Ask anyone who’s ever played with Larms, and none will disagree he should be in the Hall, and in the rafters.

  • July 8, 2013 at 3:36 pm

    He is a Hall of Famer. No doubt.

  • July 8, 2013 at 5:28 pm

    I loved Gramps and hopefully he will get the hof called eventually. Lamer was very unassuming on and off the ice which could be his curse.

    Completely off topic does Chelios go in a Wing? Fuck that guy still can’t forgivfor that!

    Is it just me or did Boston get much worse this offaeason? Fuck the Bruins and their pos fan base!

  • July 8, 2013 at 5:33 pm

    The fact Neely is in the hof further proves my above point

  • July 8, 2013 at 10:43 pm

    Having had seasons 7 rows off the ice behind the visiting teams net for a great deal of his great career was a awesome to watch. When the Hawks went on the PP and 18, 20, and 28 would step over the boards you could feel the building buzz. The old barn became electric.
    The only other player with a better one-timer was Super Mario.
    #28 belongs in the rafters and in the Hall.
    When he hoisted the cup I hoisted my elixir in his honor.
    Rocky needs to make this happen.
    Thanks for recognizing Larmer, Tab.

  • July 9, 2013 at 1:55 am

    SLarmer rivals the players in the rafters at the Madhouse on Madison, and is more than worthy of the HoF. Like RyanDale, I hate that others wear #28 for the Hawks. Hopefully one day soon he will occupy his deserved place in the Hall.

  • July 9, 2013 at 8:34 am

    Although Larms wasn’t considered a “superstar”, his consistency on the ice cannot be hidden. He was a “point a game” player, or pretty darn close to it. He played 884 straight games which is still third on the all time list……..incredible!! He was a (+) plus player his entire career. The guy was a consummate professional, every coaches dream.

    When you have newspaper writers and non-players deciding who should go into the HOF, you end up with players like Larmer who wallow in anonimity after they retire. He played in Chicago when Wirtz didn’t want to televise games on local or national T.V. (thanks Bill) and he played for a midwest team who happened to be overshaddowed by the Edmonton Oilers every year.

    Larms wasn’t a fancy “spin o rama” skater or a stick handler who would go through 5 guys to score a goal. Larms just patroled the wing and played goal line to goal liine, EVERY shift, EVERY game!! When it was time to retire, he did it with dignity, too. He didn’t want a big send off, he just wanted to leave the same way that he played…….anonimously.

    Put Larms in the HOF. He earned it.

  • July 9, 2013 at 1:04 pm

    Most underated player in Sports history.Every year half if not most of the list DID NOT play better then Larmer.His number should be retired along with 27 and 30.I also say #7 but it wont be Chelis name on the banner.Above all Larms,Eagle and JR should be retired.

  • November 12, 2013 at 1:30 am

    Steve Larmer and Doug Wilson are cursed with being “the quiet professionals” that they always were. Both should be in the HOF. Larmer was the best two way forward I’d seen. Reliable, Iron man, a true team player. It was Dollar Bill Wirtz that stopped Larmers’ streak. His #28 should be in the rafters. Along with Doug Wilsons’ #24. Doug had the best shot, the hardest hit, and was truly a great D-man.
    I’m sick and tired of everything being about the Oilers. Yes, they were a great team with great talent. Guess who was the 2nd best team of that time, in that division? THE BLACKHAWKS!!! We had great players. They should be recognized as such.

  • November 24, 2014 at 8:40 am

    Larmer is not lacking in any numerical area. He is being snubbed deliberately because of how his iron man streak ended: in a contract dispute, during the last years before NHL free agency. Larmer wanted more money, and tightfisted “Dollar” Bill Wirtz refused to pay his best remaining player (after all the other talent had been dumped).

    If Larmer’s iron man streak had been broken by an injury, he would already be in the hall. Instead, the idiot voters keep Larmer out “on principle”, showing that they have no principles.

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