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Emil Larmi departs Pens’ organization for Finland

The Penguins’ goalie prospect is going back to his homeland after two tough years

Pittsburgh Penguins v Montreal Canadiens Photo by Francois Lacasse/NHLI via Getty Images

Emil Larmi, a goalie with the Penguins organization, has gone back to Finland.

The 24-year old has signed with the Pelicans for next season.

Larmi left a really poignant and heartfelt words about his experience.

While finishing packing the apartment where I haven’t even been in three months, I finally had a moment to make this post. Last two years have definitely been the toughest years of my life. It feels like Edward Murphy has been following me all the time with his laws. It’s pretty clear that things didn’t went as planned. Lot of bad luck, bad timing and even worse results. There have been times when I’ve just wanted to leave everything and I bet I’ve been through every bad thought a person can have. Even though this might be the most negative post I’ve ever done, that’s not the whole truth. In the end I’m grateful what I’ve experienced and what these years have done to me as a human being. I’m grateful of the people I have around me and who have kept my head above the water. I kinda feel like the kid who came to the States two years ago is going back as a man, on and off the ice.

Now it’s a good time to focus on something else than chasing the dream here. It’s not a good bye, it’s see you later. Don’t know when, but some day. Just huge thanks to everyone who’ve been here with me. Now I just can’t wait to get back home.

Larmi also mentioned he suffered three unavoidable injuries this season, including a broken ring finger on the very last practice of the season.

His words really put a human face on the trials and tribulations of a young player. Larmi was with HPK earlier in 2020-21 while the AHL was shutdown, and then had a really tough go with a .845 save% and 4.87 GAA in six games with AHL Wilkes-Barre. Last season Larmi got 11 games with Wilkes and nine at ECHL Wheeling. Larmi served as a deep backup, including on the bench for the NHL Pittsburgh team, and as part of their black aces practice squad as recently as last week.

The whole experience couldn’t have been what he envisioned when he signed a two-year entry level contract with Pittsburgh in 2019 after being the starting goalie for a championship HPK team. But it didn’t work out like that. For every Casey DeSmith or Conor Sheary or Zach Aston-Reese that ends up as an undrafted free agent that goes on to NHL glory and multi-year seven figure contracts, there are unfortunately a lot of others who can’t quite catch the dream they’re chasing.

Such is the nature of professional sports. It’s enthralling to watch athletes achieve the highest levels, obtain riches, and fulfill their dreams. But there’s another side to the sword, where good people who leave it all out there don’t end up making it at the very highest levels. But Emil Larmi is leaving America with his head held high, still young, healthy and with the world in front of him — including the contract to play next year ar Finland’s highest level. If anyone deserves the reward of joy for going home, enjoying it and building off his life experiences, it’s him. Best of luck to him.