NHL: Will Dylan Larkin stay in Detroit?
Detroit Red Wings captain Dylan Larkin is one of the biggest talking points at National Hockey League (NHL) All-Star Weekend, and it’s not necessarily because of his on-ice performance.
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The 26-year-old center will become an unrestricted free agent next summer unless he signs a new deal with his team by then. Even if he says he remains in Michigan, money remains the sinews of war in the game of negotiations and the hockey player concerned will have to find his account if the Wings wish to settle the file in the right way. A native of that state, Larkin completes a five-year, $30.5 million deal.
“I constantly repeated it. I persist and sign: I see myself as a Red Wing. Yes, there are contractual discussions to be held and that’s all I will say about it. This is the first time I have found myself in this situation and I doubt very much that the talks will go smoothly before their conclusion,” he told NHL.com on Thursday.
In the eyes of many, Detroit cannot do without its first-round pick, the 15th overall, in the 2014 draft. Since its debut in the NHL in 2015-2016, it has collected 401 points in 551 games. His output includes 15 goals and 28 assists for 43 points in 47 games this season. If the Wings are to be successful in the long term, the rehiring of Larkin, their main leader, will have to be formalized sooner or later. Indeed, it would be very difficult for them to replace a popular captain in the locker room.
« I don’t take my role lightly. I’m proud of the way I deal with it. There have been difficult days and tough campaigns, but I’m happy to be able to play, he explained. I prepare and work hard to win hockey games. This is our goal. I want to evolve within a good formation and I believe that we have the guys required for that. It is a blessing for me to focus on this goal. Let the other stake [le contrat] sort itself out eventually.”
Despite this optimism, the Wings have some work to do to secure their first playoff qualification since 2016. Their 21-19-8 record and 50 points are not enough for now, as they sit seventh in the division. Atlantic.