The Detroit Red Wings have been relatively quiet so far in the trade deadline whirlwind, instead choosing to focus on some of their internal negotiations with pending free agents. They recently signed Jake Walman to an extension and have now signed captain Dylan Larkin to a new deal.
The eight-year, $69.6MM contract will keep him in Detroit through the 2030-31 season, and represents a raise to $8.7MM per season. The deal does not include any signing bonuses, according to Frank Seravalli of Daily Faceoff. PuckPedia has the full breakdown:
- 2023-24: $10.0MM + NTC
- 2024-25: $11.0MM + NTC
- 2025-26: $10.0MM + NTC
- 2026-27: $8.0MM + NTC
- 2027-28: $8.0MM + NTC
- 2028-29: $8.0MM + 10-team approved trade list
- 2029-30: $7.5MM + 10-team approved trade list
- 2030-31: $7.1MM + 10-team approved trade list
Larkin, 26, would have entered the open market this summer as one of the youngest and most desirable free agents available. Even at his relatively young age, he has already played in eight full seasons at the NHL level and is in the midst of another season close to a point-per-game. He’ll be near 600 games played before he even turns 27, and is the kind of player that a good team could add to put them over the top.
The question that Red Wings fans will ask is: can you win the Stanley Cup with Larkin as your first-line center?
With a price tag now putting him in the upper echelon of NHL skaters, there will be a ton of pressure on Larkin to live up to those standards and lead the Red Wings back to contention. The Michigan native has spent his whole career with the organization since being selected 15th overall in 2014, and as captain will be looked to as the cause of success or failure.
Back-to-back losses to the Ottawa Senators have made it extremely difficult to reach the playoffs this season, and could potentially turn the Red Wings into deadline sellers. Larkin was held scoreless in both games without registering a shot in last night’s 6-1 thrashing.
But there is also a good argument for spending the money to keep their captain in place. The Red Wings have oodles of young talent that will enter their prime in the next few years, giving Larkin the best supporting cast of his career. Even if he fails to take the step to superstardom, he still represents an excellent player that would be difficult to replace. Make no mistake—teams would be lined up to talk to him in free agency if he reached it.
Detroit general manager Steve Yzerman has set up the books so that the Red Wings can afford to pay a little bit extra to retain Larkin, with only a handful of other players signed to multi-year contracts. With the salary cap going up and still years before he turns 30, this deal may actually look like a bargain down the line.
8 years? Hoo boy.
See comment below on Doucette signing. The only way they should sign Larkin to an extension is if they go after and sign a legitimate #1 Center, GOAL SCORER. Then Larkin can be the #2. Otherwise, Red Wings will regret signing him to this max contract. Red Wing slappies, BEWARE of what you WISH for !!!
Great point. I hope that Steve Yzerman, given his complete lack of experience in building a roster, spends time here and takes in the wisdom that you have gathered over your storied management career.
I’ve often thought he’s a really good 2C but not quite a 1C.
I’m looking forward for when Marco Kasper is ready to join the Wings. He’ll probably be the #1 center in a few years. For the most part Larkin has improved every year but still not sure if $8.7 million a year or more accurately $11 million and $10 million for the next 4 years is a good deal. Maybe with the young kids coming up next year Yzerman feels it balances it out and still have room for a couple FA additions.
The Wings have accomplished very little with him in tow for over 7 seasons. I am not sure giving him this long term deal is in the best interests of a successful rebuild.
That’s not Larkins fault. Holland left a huge mess for Yzerman to clean up. There’s light at the end of the tunnel finally.
I’m apprehensive about overpaying for Larkin but we can’t pin the last seven years on him alone.
Kenny Holland brutalized the Wings’ cap situation with contracts that were too many years at too much money. Larkin came in right at peak Kenny madness.
Yzerman is still sorting the mess out, and even he has handed out some questionable contracts himself (Chiarot, Copp) but overall we’re in a much better place now.
If we’re serious about competing, this deal has to get done. No matter whether people see him as a #1 or #2 center, he’s still our best forward and probably best player overall.
I still feel like we should be “lightly” rebuilding even if we’re turning the corner. I still want to see us acquiring draft picks and prospects with an eye to the future. It just seems we’re too far from the top to pounce yet.
Wings Slappy. Just because he is our best player means you have to pay $8.5 million x 8 ??? SY should not OVERPAY and hold off until the summer, just like he did with Stamkos. Find a #1 and a goal scorer that the Red Wings desperately need. Larkin’s current contract is accurate for the numbers he puts up, $6.5 million.
Love the Walman extension. Not so high on Larkin signing right now with so many high draft picks being thrown around. SY better think this one through. This contract could cost the organization way more money when prospects outperform the Captain in upcoming years. Personally, I think Larkin is a greedy, selfish individual.
Larkin is doing no different than any other professional athlete.
He is a good second line center. If the Wings don’t find a first line center, they would not achieve so much with Larkin in that role.
I like Larkin and would like to see him signed, but I am torn with the fact he could get 2 1sts + in a trade right now! The problem is his full NTC. But would he wave in for Vegas or Dallas or Carolina?
I believe Larkin will be giving Brady Tkachuk his lunch money for the duration of this deal.
Great comment jdgoat!
What a Total bag of S H – T this deal is. Lost all respect for GM Steve Yzerman. He CAVED IN. Larkin isn’t worth that money at all. Just lost a long time Red Wing fan and long time season ticket holder. Lets go LIONS !!!!
Sometimes GMs get to much credit for players that develop & help win the Stanley Cup.
I like Tage Thomason’s contract for being a 1C at 7 mill per year. Oh and then Cozens at same price for 2C.
Wow. Lots of hate for Larkin on here. I thinks it to be a great deal. As long as the cap continues to go up as predicted, getting him at 8.7 on the cap is gonna be a good deal. Maybe it’s overpriced today but in a few more years when the wings are ready to compete again, this will probably be on the low end of market value for a point per game player.
There won’t be a market for him in 5 years, not at this cost. Must be a Red Wing thing. Fall in love with all your players. Pay them too much & hang onto them too long. I would have waited until summer time. See what team they could have traded to. According to Gavin, there would have been a long line waiting for his services
As a free agent yes, can’t trade a free agent lol
SY trapped in this situation. Dylan preemptively changed representation to maximize his position with the Redwings. If that is what a Captain does for a rebuild with the goal of winning championships, the organization is in trouble. How many more developing prospects will take advantage in the same fashion? He will eventually have zero respect as a hometown player at the end of his career.
Not saying Larkin is the second coming of Mario Lemieux, but for all of the people shouting “FiNd SoMeOnE bEtTeR!!!1!!” then let Detroit know about another point-per-game Center & team captain in his prime who will gladly play in Detroit for $8 million per year. It’s a short list.
@ fightcitymayor: Detroit’s been a fine hockey city with a lot of support over the decades. It could be one again. But not in giving ridiculous overpays and max term contracts. The reality of living in a salary cap world is that a team’s success is closely tied to its stars NOT requiring eight figure contracts. Look at Boston, which couldn’t possibly be where it is now if Patrice Bergeron or David Krejci held them up for top dollar.
Larkin is 26
Bergeron also had an 8 year deal with Boston- Max term contract.
Bergeron career earnings $96,000,000.
Larkin career earnings $32,000,000
So maybe Boston is hedging that Bergeron is not trying anymore to cash in his prime years but win another cup for his long-time team. Same with Marchand. They are in a unique position with Bergeron and Krecji as 1 2 centres for so cheap
Well, there’s only one thing to do now. Give Bertuzzi 8×10. That way we can wait another 10 to 15 years to make the playoffs. Damn, just move on from these players that demand more money. This is the nhl, a business. I hope the RWs staff has lots of baby powder for Dylans butt.
Great signing for a player who puts up 20+ more points than any other teammate. Everyone dogging this signing either dont watch the Wings or dont actually understand hockey. They just see McDavid put up his numbers and think thats the standard and not tge outlier
Great signing by Larkin, yes. NOT the Red Wings. You really think he is worth $10, $11, $10 million the next 3 years ? HECK NO. I’ve been watching Red Wings since the Probert era. I think know a little bit about this team. He is the best player on a very BAD team since he’s been drafted. Does that justify the $$$ and term. NOT.. Is he in the top 50 in points in his 8 years ? NO.. so how can people say he is one of the best centers/players in the league. Maybe watch some other games other than the Red Wings for all you SLAPPIES !!
So you’re saying you’d rather just give up on a good hockey player? Save every penny you can until you draft the next mcdavid?
I think it’s more likely that when Detroit is ready to weaponize all their cap space and assets to surround Larkin with some high end talent he will put up even better numbers. It’s laughable to me that so many people are so against this.
The alternative is this:
Trade him. Use the picks you get in return to draft another guy you won’t view as a top guy in 3 years. Then trade that guy, cause he’s not good enough either. Rinse, repeat.
Or just let him walk for nothing in the summer.