Larkin, 24, will end his season without even reaching ten goals, a disappointing output even if the year didn’t really mean anything in the long-term. Detroit is just at the beginning of a full rebuild and had no plans on reaching the postseason. Still, we’re now two years removed from the outstanding 32-goal, 73-point breakout for Larkin and everyone is waiting for him to reach those heights again.
While this injury doesn’t sound like it will affect his training for 2021-22, there’s not a lot left to play for this season. The Red Wings can give his minutes to younger players–including Joe Veleno, who could make his NHL debut in the coming days–while Larkin resets and gets ready for a year where Detroit could actually be pushing for a playoff spot.
After the Red Wings traded away Anthony Mantha, it’s interesting to watch what happens with the rest of their previous core, Larkin included. The 24-year-old has just two years remaining on his current contract before unrestricted free agency, but is also the captain and most consistent offensive player. GM Steve Yzerman has set up the Detroit cap situation with not a single player signed beyond the 2022-23 campaign, meaning if you don’t perform, he can go in a different direction.