For years, there was a unique annual holiday tradition in Larkin family household. The stockings would be hung by the chimney with care and soon they would be fillled with . . . hockey tickets.
Specifically, tickets to see the Detroit Red Wings play the Toronto Maple Leafs. Every Christmas, Dylan and his brother Colin would each find a ticket to an upcoming Red Wings-Leafs game stuffed inside their holiday sock. So would their dad.
Their favorite team against his favorite team.
You see, Kevin Larkin is Canadian.
“He was born and grew up in Toronto,” Dylan Larkin explained.
Kevin’s hometown is the north Toronto suburb of Scarborough. And as is generally the case with Torontonians, he was afflicted with a passionate case of loving the Leafs.
Kevin Larkin played all of his youth hockey in Toronto but it turned out that soccer was his game. While Dylan (Michigan) and Colin (U Mass-Lowell) both earned college hockey scholarships, Kevin (Southern Indiana) and his brothers Jimmy (Virginia Commonwealth) and Paul (Oakland) all attended U.S. schools on soccer scholarships.
Dylan Larkin (@Dylanlarkin39) had 28 family members in attendance when he scored his first NHL goal. 🥺
📺: 7:30p ET on @NHL_On_TNT
— NHL (@NHL) January 26, 2022
Whille in school, Kevin met Sidney Denise Jordan. The two fell in love and married, opting to settle in her home state of Michigan.
These days, Dylan still gets to attend Red Wings-Leafs games, although as Detroit captain, he’s paid to do so. As fate would have it, Dylan played his first NHL game against the Leafs, scoring his first NHL goal that night on Jonathan Bernier, his future Red Wings teammate.
Larkin Discovers Blue Blood Thicker Than Family Ties
Larkin family gatherings are popular excursions when the Leafs and Wings clash, as they will again on Saturday at Little Caesars Arena. And even though one of the family skates for the Wings, the side of the family that still populates Canada mostly also continues to figuratively bleed Maple Leafs blue.
You see, getting Maple Leafs fans to switch allegiancies is a lot like Leafs second-round playoff series. It just doesn’t happen.
When his son was drafted by the Red Wings, Kevin Larkin traded in his Leafs gear, becoming one of the Detroit faithful.
Dylan Larkin scored his first career hat trick and joined Lucas Raymond and Tyler Bertuzzi as the third @DetroitRedWings skater to score at least three goals in a game this season.#NHLStats: https://t.co/wXHy0UWARS pic.twitter.com/hbA4TUHH4S
— NHL Public Relations (@PR_NHL) December 19, 2021
“He has a big family from Scarborough,” Dylan Larkin said of his dad. “He’s got a lot of buddies texting him that are pretty excited when I’m playing against the Leafs.”
Not all of them are sending well wishes.
Blood is thicker than water. And Leafs blood is thicker than family – even when family is playing for the other team.