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Red Wings Role Call: Dylan Larkin’s Detroit Future

The Detroit Red Wings and captain Dylan Larkin will begin negotiations on a new contract next month



Dylan Larkin, Detroit Red WIngs
Without a new contract, Red Wings captain Dylan Larkin would be a UFA following the 2022-23 NHL season.

Red Wings Role Call is assessing every player who held a significant place in the fortunes of the 2021-22 Detroit Red Wings season. We’ll be looking at the highs and lows they experienced during the just-completed campaign, as well as what the future holds for them in Detroit. Today, we feature center and team captain Dylan Larkin

Dylan Larkin

Position: Center

2021-22 totals (GP-G-A-P): 71-31-38-69

Contract Status: One season left at $6.1M AAV

Season Synopsis

In his second season as team captain, Dylan Larkin enjoyed a bounceback campaign. He led the team in scoring, falling just shy of his career-best 32-41-73 totals Larkin posted during the 2018-19 season. He was good for just 9-14-23 numbers during a miserable 2021 season.

Larkin led the Wings in goals, points, six power play goals (six), power play points (13), overtime goals (three), and shots (212). He set a pair of personal milestones in 2021-22, recording his 350th NHL point with an assist on March 22 vs. Philadelphia and skating in his 500th NHL game on April 9 vs. Columbus.

2021-22 Red Wings Highlights

The seventh-year pro recorded his first NHL hat trick and set a career high with four points (3-1-4) on Dec. 18 vs. New Jersey. Larkin was named the NHL’s First Star of the Week on Dec. 20 after tallying seven points (5-2-7) during a three-game stretch from Dec. 14-18.

He represented the Red Wings on the Atlantic Division team for the 2022 NHL All-Star Game, marking his second All-Star roster selection and first since his rookie season in 2015-16.

Larkin also made history for Detroit with a team season-best 10-game point streak from Jan. 29-March 1, logging 18 points (7-11-18) in that span. He became the first Red Wings player to record multiple point streaks of at least 10 contests since Henrik Zetterberg (11 games in 2010-11 and 17 games in 2007-08). Larkin has two of Detroit’s six point streaks of 10-or-more games since 2010-11. He also enjoyed a 14-game streak from Dec. 4-31, 2018.

2021-22 Red Wings Lowlights

Larkin missed the final six games of season after undergoing successful core muscle surgery on April 18, but he’s expected to be ready for training camp in the fall ahead of the 2022-23 campaign.

Larkin missed three games in early November while dealing with an undisclosed personal matter. He served a one-game NHL suspension for punching Tampa Bay’s Mathieu Joseph during the team’s season opener.

What Does His Detroit Future Hold?

Larkin is entering the final season of a five-year contract that is paying him an AAV of $6.1 million. Under the rules of the NHL CBA, Larkin and the Red Wings may begin negotiations on a contract extension as of Juy 1. If a new deal isn’t reached by the end of the 2022-23 NHL campaign, Larkin would become eligible for unrestricted free agency.

The only Michigander to captain the Red Wings, Larkin is insisting that he has no desire to leave the Red Wings. In the same breath, he also acknowledges his awareness that pro sports is first and foremost a business.

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Interstingly, on the eve of the launch of the negotating window opening, Larkin switched representation. He dropped Kurt Overhardt’s KO Sports, Inc. in favor of Pat Brisson, head of the hockey division for Creative Artists Agency. Brisson is responsible for some of the NHL’s biggest contracts, including Toronto’s John Tavares ($11 million AAV), Chicago’s Jonathan Toews and Patrick Kane (each $10.5 million AAV) and LA’s Anze Kopitar ($10 million AAV).

While Larkin wants to remain with the Red Wings, it’s also quite evident that he wants to get paid. The question going forward is how much are the Wings willing to pay him?