Steve Larmer On Kane and Toews — and Knowing When to Leave

Social Navigation

Steve Larmer On Kane and Toews — and Knowing When to Leave

Chicago Blackhawks

This weekend, I had the opportunity to sit down and chat with my favorite Blackhawks player in my lifetime: Steve Larmer. I’m going to share our complete conversation on the 28th, but I felt a few things we discussed were especially pertinent to the current situation at 1901 W. Madison Street.

We’ll start at the end — of his tenure in Chicago. After appearing in 884 consecutive games, Larmer opted to move on from the only organization for which he had ever played and end his streak. And, on Nov. 2, 1993, Larmer wound up with the New York Rangers via the Hartford Whalers in a three-team trade.

I asked Larmer if it was harder to make the decision to leave Chicago or actually leaving. He said neither was really that hard, frankly. And his perspective felt like something we’ve heard before in recent months.

“I think the time was right after spending 12 full seasons here and having gone through a whole bunch of changes with a group that I came in with and played with for a long time,” Larmer told me. “We had a great core group with Dougie Wilson and Bobby Murray and Darryl Sutter and Rich Preston and Keith Brown and Troy Murray and Denis [Savard] and some other guys, that you get sitting there and you’re looking around and you’re like, ‘Where’d everybody go?'”

Man… that sounds awfully familiar.

When Larmer left, it was in hopes of winning his first Stanley Cup after coming up short in his only Final appearance with the Blackhawks against Pittsburgh in 1992. Larmer got his ring with the Rangers in 1994.

Like Larmer 30 years ago, Patrick Kane and Jonathan Toews are the current elder statesmen who are struggling to make a decision to stay or go. They each have three rings at home and neither needs to prove anything to anyone between now and being inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame (somewhere Larmer should be… but I digress).

I still asked Larmer if he had any advice for or thoughts about the two superstars as they make their important decisions.

“I think at the end of the day, it’s their decision and then they have no movement deal, so they’re in control of it,” he said. “And it’s up to them to weigh the pros and cons and where you want to go. And how it all plays out, nobody really knows right now, but it will not do anything to cement their legacy that they’ve created here in Chicago. For me it was a breath of fresh air. It was a different situation where you go in and you’re just one of the guys. You just play your game and do your job and it all works out.”

We’ll all find out if they decided to stay or accept a deal at some point this week (I’m hearing the conversation will take place on Monday). So the perspective of one Blackhawks’ legend was interesting when considering the immediate futures of two others in the present.

Author: Tab Bamford

Tab is the Lead Blackhawks voice for BN. He is the author of two books about the Blackhawks, most recently "Chicago Blackhawks: An Illustrated Timeline" (Reedy Press, 2021). Find him on Twitter at @The1Tab