Column: The time is right for the Blackhawks to retire Steve Larmer’s No. 28

When Patrick Kane moved into fourth place on the Blackhawks’ all-time scoring list Thursday night he passed Steve Larmer, leading a fresh generation of young Hawks fans to have this thought.

Who is Steve Larmer?

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It left an older generation of Hawks fans with another thought: Retire Grandpa’s jersey already.

Larmer, affectionately nicknamed Grandpa early in his career, cheap nhl jerseys china
deserves to have his No. 28 jersey hanging from the rafters of the United Center alongside those of Stan Mikita, Bobby Hull, Glenn Hall, Tony Esposito, Denis Savard, Pierre Pilote and Keith Magnuson.

Larmer was the second-greatest Hawks player during a highly successful era, a quiet fan favorite whom teammates beloved and respected. The Hawks never missed the playoffs during Larmer’s 11 full seasons in Chicago and likely would have won one or two Stanley Cups if it weren’t for the great Oilers teams of the ’80s.

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The Hawks issued No. 28 to Henri Jokiharju this season, a sign they’re not considering retiring Larmer’s number anytime soon. During an interview with Hawks President John McDonough in November, it didn’t sound as if anything were imminent.

“We have not spent a lot of time because he wouldn’t be the only one,” McDonough said. “There are other numbers people have inquired as to retiring. I think everything’s on the table for that.”

While it’s true that great Hawks such as Doug Wilson, Jeremy Roenick and some others should receive consideration, using them as a reason to deny Larmer is a cop-out. It’s not like the Hawks are overflowing with retired numbers.

Yes, a few will go up over the next decade as Kane, Jonathan Toews and Duncan Keith retire, but among Original Six teams, the Hawks’ seven retired numbers are the fewest. The Maple Leafs have retired 19, followed by the Canadiens (18), Bruins (11), Rangers (nine) and Red Wings (eight).

The statistics certainly favor Larmer, a two-time All-Star and the 1983 Calder Memorial Trophy winner as the NHL’s top rookie. Jonathan Toews likely will pass him on the Hawks’ scoring list in three seasons, but Larmer then should remain at No. 6 for a long time. His 406 goals are the third-most in Hawks history and his 517 assists are the sixth-most.

Larmer’s name appears in the top 10 of nearly every important offensive category, including those involving the postseason. Larmer’s 111 playoff points are the fifth-most in a Hawks uniform — one more than Toews in 21 fewer games.

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