Forgotten Player of the Moment – STEVE LARMER


(by Bill Barnwell)

My first love of sport really came through hockey – I’m pretty sure, in 1991, I could recite the rosters for each team with relatively little difficulty. I scoured the NHL Guide & Record Book each year it came out, memorizing player histories. Somehow, growing up on Long Island, I became a Washington Capitals fan – I’m not really sure why it happened, but it did. That’s another story for another time, though. A good time would be sometime thinking about the Capitals that doesn’t make my brain hemorrhage.larmer

In 1994, the New York Rangers won a Stanley Cup, for some god-forsaken reason. Since I had a passing interest in seeing the Islanders do well, I naturally despised the Rangers. Even now, I can hear the radio call of the game-winning OT goal in game 7 of the Eastern Conference finals: “MATTEAU! MATTEAU!” The sad thing is that I was at a Mets game when it happened, and more people were paying attention to the Rangers-Devils game on the radio than Anthony Young’s gaffes on the mound. Only one player on the Rangers could escape my scorn. That player was Steve Larmer.larmer_ranger

Steve Larmer was, as the Rangers have made a tradition of, an import; he was acquired in a three-way trade with Hartford and his long-time employer, the Chicago Blackhawks. There are some memorable role player names in that trade: Bryan Marchment (if we ever have a Forgotten Scumbag of the Moment…), Eric Weinrich, Patrick Poulin, Nick Kypreos, Darren Turcotte, and James Patrick (who I am sure Rippa will start formulating an FPotM entry for as soon as he reads this). Larmer had already left the goal-scoring phase of his career and entered the penalty-killing phase once he became a Ranger, but what people had forgotten was just how good of a player he’d been in Chicago.

First off – he managed to be scrappier than Dirk Graham. I don’t even know how that’s possible, but he was. Dirk Graham will get a FPotM eventually too. The guy didn’t miss a game for eleven years; he never missed a game in his Blackhawk career. And it’s not as if he was Cal Ripken circa 1999 here; Larmer never scored less than 28 goals in a season while on the team. He averaged 38-47-85 for those eleven years. The dude was a rock. He didn’t disappear in the playoffs either; he had a year or two where he had a bad series, but every time the Hawks made a serious run, it was led by Larmer. 56-75-131 in 140 playoff games is pretty fantastic.

Should he be in the Hall of Fame? I don’t know. He certainly has a case, though.

Steve Larmer Legends of Hockey Page

Steve Larmer Page on the International Hockey Database

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