Of the names who consistently come up about contributions to the Chicago Blackhawks, Steve Larmer is always at the top of the list.
When I write underrated, it’s from a league perspective, knowing how beloved he was in Chicago.
Larmer was one of the best players on not only the Blackhawks, but in the league during his 15 NHL seasons. As time has worn on, the calls to retire #28 from the rafters have only gotten louder with every passing year.
As it should be.
A look back at Larmer’s contribution and where he stands in Blackhawks history.
A Backbone for the Blackhawks
The Party Line is the only apt place to begin. as even Chris Chelios once penned an article for his appreciation of the line–when facing them. Denis Savard centered it, and Al Secord was the third member of the line that terrorized opposing teams with its grit and scoring ability.
Their debut was the 1982-83 season when Larmer also snared the Calder Trophy for the league’s best rookie. The numbers are gaudy, and video game like. 1-2-3 in points with a total of 297. (Savard 121, Larmer 90, Secord 86). Goals? Also 1-2-3 (Secord 54, Larmer 43, Savard 35). To put it in perspective, the Party Line accounted for 33% of the team’s points and 39% of the goals.
Larmer’s successes would only continue, scoring 40 or more goals in five different seasons and only scoring less than 30 twice in the 11 seasons he was a full time Hawk. 30 years after he played his final game with Chicago, he still stands fourth all time in goals and fifth in points.
Yet in those 30 years since, #28 is curiously not in the rafters while Stan Mikita, Bobby Hull, and Savard’s all have their spots over the ice.
#28 Should Be In the Rafters
It’s baffling that the call from the Hall hasn’t occurred, but for all the great numbers Larmer had, there were a slew of players who had better. Larmer wasn’t flashy and he wasn’t going to call for attention. He went about his job, another reason he was beloved in Chicago. He didn’t ask or want the attention. He did his job–and well.
But if indeed a Ring of Honor is established, much like Eddie Belfour, Steve Larmer should be in it without a single question. But the more fitting honor should be seeing the ceremony and then the #28 being pulled up to its rightful place in the rafters.
For the guy that once hung 46 goals up in a season, he should be given the chance to see his #28 hang above the United Center ice.