Dylan Larkin is hoping the next contract he signs will keep him with the Detroit Red Wings long-term, according to Greg Wyshynski of ESPN says.
The Red Wings captain, in Florida this weekend for the NHL’s All-Star game and representing Detroit for the third time, is in the final year of a five-year, $30.5-million deal.
Larkin is expected to receive a significant raise this coming offseason, as the 26-year-old is once again in the midst of a highly productive season.
“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,” Larkin told ESPN on Thursday. “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.”
With 43 points in 47 games this season, Larkin is on pace to surpass his career high in both assists and points, while also providing a settling defensive presence on a young and inexperienced club.
A report from the Detroit Free Press earlier this week stated that the pending unrestricted free agent had already declined an eight-year, $64-million deal ($8-million AAV), with Larkin’s side reportedly aiming to more closely emulate Mathew Barzal’s eight-year, $73.2-million figure ($9.15 AAV).
The Red Wings hometown hero, having grown up in Michigan and played college hockey at the University of Michigan, remains intent on focusing on the Red Wings season. His club currently sits seventh in the uber-competitive Atlantic Division, but remains an attainable seven points back of the final wildcard spot with a game in hand.
“I take great pride in how I carry myself. There’s been some very difficult days and difficult seasons,” Larkin said of his leadership role and commitment to the Red Wings organization.
Larkin possesses a full no-trade clause, which would make dealing the superstar pivot particularly complicated for Red Wings General Manager Steve Yzerman ahead of the March 3rd trade deadline should contract talks continue to stagnate.