Dylan Larkin is optimistic that he and the Detroit Red Wings can hammer out a new contract during this offseason.
“I’m pretty confident,” Larkin said. “I haven’t been in this position with Steve. I’m excited to see what he has to say. I’d really like something to get done. I think my agent, I’ve just been talking with him. I don’t know if there’s been conversation yet. Just kind of waiting to hear something.”
Larkin, 25, can become an unrestricted free agent after next season. That means that Yzerman and Larkin’s representative, Kurt Overhardt, can start talking this July.
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It’s unknown how much Larkin, the team captain, will ask for in his next deal. Larkin is earning an average of $6.1 million per season in his current deal. He is coming off a strong season (31 goals, 69 points in 71 games).
Some possible comparables for Larkin would be New York Rangers’ Mika Zibanejad (eight years at $8.5 million), San Jose Sharks’ Tomas Hertl (eight years at $8.1375 million) and Philadelphia Flyers’ Sean Couturier (eight years at $7.75 million). Larkin is younger than these players by more than three years. But they are slightly more accomplished.
The Red Wings also have to negotiate a new deal with Tyler Bertuzzi, 27. He also will be an unrestricted free agent after next season. The Red Wings are losing $8.6 million off their salary cap hit with Danny DeKeyser and Thomas Greiss expected to leave through free agency. Filip Zadina, Mitchell Stephens and Jake Walman are restricted free agents.
Loves Being Captain
Larkin grew up in Michigan. Asked at a press conference whether he could see himself playing elsewhere, he said: “No, not really.”
“I’ve gotten older and more experienced in the league, I’ve really seen it first hand with some of my past teammates and friends that I’ve really learned the business side of the game,” Larkin said. I’ve been fortunate enough to be here for just finishing my seventh season. I really love being a Red Wing and I love being the captain of the team. This team will do special things in the near future. I don’t really envision myself being anywhere else but do understand there’s a business side of hockey.”
Larkin came back from a serious neck injury to record his second season of scoring 30 or more goals. He thought it was his best season.
“It felt good to get back to the way I know I can play,” he said. “I really came into this year and wanted to drive the play and use my skating ability and kind of relax and just play. I felt there was a lot of adversity, some things in my control and some things not in my control. A lot of distractions. I was proud of myself, how I tried to stay consistent and my character and how I showed up to the rink and how I was there for the guys.”