Dylan Larkin: Red Wings options ahead of NHL trade deadline

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AP Photo/Duane Burleson

With the NHL trade deadline just a few weeks away, many players may be finding a new home. To the chagrin of many Hockeytown fans, one player that may be on the move is Detriot Red Wings captain and first-line center Dylan Larkin.

The Waterford, Michigan native is set to enter unrestricted free agency after this season. Though he’d like to stay in the Motor City long term, Larkin’s camp and Red Wings general manager Steve Yzerman still appear to not be on the same page in negotiations.

Why keeping Dylan Larkin is important

The Red Wings are currently trying to escape the basement of the league. After 25 consecutive seasons making the playoffs, the Red Wings have been drowning in mediocrity. Yzerman has been slowly building the team since he took over in 2019. He seems to have hit on draft picks Moritz Seider and Lucas Raymond, and losing points leader Larkin would put a damper on their impending rise.

If the Red Wings decide to trade Larkin, they will eliminate the risk of him leaving in free agency and not receiving assets in return. They could look at the package the Vancouver Canucks received from the New York Islanders for center Bo Horvat. However, if he cannot be moved before the deadline, the Red Wings may lose their captain with nothing to show.

“I’ve said it all along, and I stand by it: I really see myself as a Red Wing. [But] there’s contract negotiating to be done,” said Larkin while he represented the Atlantic Division at the NHL All-Star Game. “This is my first time in this position as an unrestricted free agent. But I doubt contracts really ever go smoothly until they’re done.”

Yzerman has shown that he is willing to keep his guys. On Feb. 16, the Red Wings resigned defenseman Olli Maata to a two-year extension. Hopefully, for the team’s sake, he can find the money to keep his captain in Detroit.

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