The Detroit Red Wings will operate without a captain once again this season, despite the expectation that Dylan Larkin will one day assume the role. Head coach Jeff Blashill told reporters including Ansar Khan of MLive that they will instead start with four alternates: Larkin, Justin Abdelkader, Frans Nielsen and Luke Glendening. Blashill and Steve Yzerman agreed to wait until the GM got to know the entire team better after taking over this offseason.
Larkin, 23, has become the face of the Red Wings franchise after putting up a career-high 32 goals and 73 points last season. As the old guard including Henrik Zetterberg, Pavel Datsyuk and recently Niklas Kronwall have moved on from their roles on the Red Wings, Larkin and other young players have taken on more and more responsibility. As the team transitions from rebuilding to contending over the next few years it seems likely that someone will eventually wear the “C” for Blashill and Yzerman, just not yet.
- The St. Louis Blues are finalizing extensions for Steve Ott and David Alexander according to Jim Thomas of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch. The pair of assistant coaches will be given extensions that match the length of head coach Craig Berube, who was given a three-year deal earlier this summer. The coaching staff under Berube completed a miracle turnaround this season with the Blues, taking them from last place in the NHL to Stanley Cup champions in just a few months.
- Andy Strickland of Fox Sports Midwest has heard a few things on restricted free agents Patrik Laine and Mikko Rantanen, including about a recent short-term offer from the Winnipeg Jets to the former. The deal presented to Laine was in the “$5MM per year range” though Strickland notes that even on that short-term deal the Jets will “need to come up on money.” For Rantanen, Strickland reports that the free agent forward is not far away in terms of salary with the Colorado Avalanche and that the team’s last offer “blew past Nathan MacKinnon’s $6.3MM AAV.”