The Detroit Red Wings have two options in regards to signing restricted free agent Dylan Larkin this summer. The team could go short-term or long-term. With a solid, but hardly spectacular season, the Red Wings might want to wait and see how the 21-year-old develops over the next year or two and hand out short contracts to see if he’s worth the money. That makes sense considering the team is capped out with so many long-term deals having been handed out to veterans over the past few years.
However, NBC Sports’ James O’Brien writes that the team needs to look at the long-term option instead and lock up Larkin as quick as possible as he compares Larkin’s situation to that of Leon Draisaitl of the Edmonton Oilers, who signed an eight-year, $68MM deal a year ago, which is starting to look like a bargain after the many signings since then.
Larkin, who has shown that he’s one of the few answers in Detroit still hasn’t broken out with the Red Wings. While his rookie campaign showed plenty of promise with 23 goals, he’s failed to duplicate that number since. However, while he did just tally 16 goals a season ago, his 47 assists was a career-high along with his 63 points, suggesting he might be due for a breakout season. Signing Larkin to a long-term deal now while his value isn’t through the roof might be better than waiting another two years when they will be forced to shell out top dollar in the future with the cap constantly increasing.
- While it’s already been reported that the eight-year, $76MM extension that Nikita Kucherov signed will not take the Tampa Bay Lightning out of a potential Erik Karlsson trade, the team will have to make some moves if it does pull the trigger on a trade as the team has less than $3MM in cap space for this coming year. Brandon Schlager of the Sporting News writes that the most obvious candidates that would have to be moved would be forwards Ryan Callahan ($5.8MM AAV for two more years), Tyler Johnson ($5MM for six more years), Alex Killorn ($4.45MM for five more years) and defenseman Braydon Coburn ($3.7MM for one year).
- Kevin Paul Dupont of the Boston Globe attempts to break down what the Boston Bruins defense will look like next season as well as what the team should expect out of their top free agent target, John Moore. The scribe writes that general manager Don Sweeney hasn’t struck gold yet with his long-term free agent deals, pointing to the contracts handed out to Matt Beleskey and David Backes. Beleskey was an outright failure, while Backes has been average, at best. Moore is just 27 years old and will be playing already for his fifth team, which isn’t a good sign. What the team’s plans are for his usage is also unknown as if the team intends to put him on the team’s second-line defensive pairings, then the team would force either Torey Krug or Brandon Carlo to the third-line pairing, which doesn’t make sense either unless the team intends to move Krug. However, there is still no proof that Moore is good enough to be a top-four player.