Hockeytown, Detroit, MI — March 3, 2023
No more speculation. Dylan Larkin will remain in Hockeytown for the long haul.
On Thursday, March 2, the Detroit Red Wings officially signed Larkin to an eight-year contract extension with an average annual value of $8.7 million, solidifying the 26-year-old captain as a cornerstone of the franchise for years to come.
“It’s really nice to get it done,” Larkin said. “It’s always been where I’ve wanted to be. I’m really happy.”
Larkin, who has been with the Red Wings since being drafted 15th overall in the 2014 NHL Entry Draft as a 19-year-old, was named the 37th captain in club history on Jan. 13, 2021.
“I got to watch Henrik Zetterberg, who is up there on that list of people I look up to,” Larkin said. “To be in the same category [as him] is something I don’t take lightly. I’m very honored to be the captain of this team.”
The Waterford, Mich., native said he always wanted to stay with his hometown team.
“I had the [contract] questions a lot. At certain times, I think my agent was probably saying to stop saying that I wanted to be here,” Larkin said jokingly. “But it was truthful and where I wanted to be. I’m really fortunate to have a support system – my fiancé, parents, brother, close friends, and teammates. I’m really fortunate because it was a lot of ups and downs this year, but they kept me able to keep going.”
For Larkin, knowing that the love and support of his family and friends will remain nearby is special.
“It means the world to me,” Larkin said. “I know there’s a lot of people in Waterford that we would be sitting here all day who I could thank. There’s a lot of people that have helped me and kept me on the right path. I really thank them for everything.”
First-year Red Wings head coach Derek Lalonde said he was “ecstatic” upon receiving the news that Larkin was signed long-term.
“I maybe jumped, athletically, two inches in the air with a fist pump,” Lalonde said. “Just because I know how significant that is. I just enjoy working with him and what we’re trying to build here.”
Through 59 games this season, Larkin leads Detroit in goals (22), assists (35), and points (57). He made his third-career All-Star appearance at the 2023 event last month in Sunrise, Fla.
“I think his play speaks for itself,” Lalonde said. “The things we’ve asked of Dylan in closed doors, he’s done. He’s been a great leader. Sometimes, things have been uncomfortable this year, and he’s acted accordingly, trying to get this organization to the next level.”
And since making his NHL debut on Oct. 9, 2015, Larkin paces the Red Wings in games played (563), goals (169), assists (246), points (415), power-play goals (40), power-play points (89), short-handed goals (6), overtime goals (7) and game-winning goals (22).
Reflecting on his NHL career leading up to this point, Larkin is proud of how he has matured both on and off the ice.
“I’ve never really lashed out or demanded something that I felt I wanted,” Larkin said. “Through the ups and downs, I feel I’ve tried to handle with class and doing it the right way. In the future, I can feel it this year that I really want to be able to lead this team into the playoffs, and long playoff runs. You need help with that. I feel there’s help in our room and coming along the way.”
By agreeing to terms with Larkin, the Red Wings continue their current in-season trend of re-signing key players as the club pushes for its first postseason appearance since the 2015-16 season, which was also Larkin’s rookie campaign.
On Thursday, Feb. 16, Detroit signed Olli Maatta to a two-year extension and followed by giving a three-year deal to Jake Walman on Tuesday, Feb. 28.
“Man, the excitement of the three signings we’ve had over the past week,” Lalonde said. “Really great signings for the organization.”
And Larkin was adamant: He wants to be a Red Wing for life.
“I really believe the future is bright here,” Larkin said. “I’ve always wanted to be part of it. I’ve always dreamed of, ever since I came into the league, playing my whole career here and being part of this.”
Republished from https://www.nhl.com/redwings/