“1, 2, 3 LETS HAVE FUN!”
Admit it, you probably spent a good hour laughing after watching that hilarious video for the first time. Now, try to imagine that 13-year old kid referring to himself as “D-Boss” as the next captain of the Detroit Red Wings. Out of context, that probably sounds like I’ve been eating too many curly fries (still waiting on that first career hatty, Dylan!) but the reality is that kid is the best fit for the job.
Assuming Henrik Zetterberg, the current captain of the Wings, retires in 4 years like he’s said, this will be the perfect time in Larkin’s career to sew the “C” on his jersey. No matter who steps in as captain, they will have big shoes to fill, as Hank has arguably been the best Detroit athlete in the 21st century, up there with the likes of The Magic Man, Megatron, and Miggy. But out of all the current Wings, Larkin makes the most sense.
The NHL today is all about speed and youth, and Larks checks both those boxes. He is a part of the new wave of stars in the NHL, who brings the fans out of their seats whenever they touch the puck. These aspects of his game make him a massive fan favorite and he has already taken over as the face of the franchise. At the end of last season, Larkin lead all Red Wings players in jersey sales, and sits 17th overall in the NHL. It’s clear fans love to watch him blaze up and down the ice, and when people think of the Red Wings, 9 times out of 10 the first player that comes to mind is the speed demon himself.
Being a local product also helps make his case. Growing up in Waterford, Michigan, he got to witness Red Wings greats like Steve Yzerman, Nick Lidstrom, and he even got to play on the wing and be mentored by Zetterberg. He understands the winning culture and tradition, and knows the importance that the Red Wings captaincy bears. Other names that some may want to consider as captain haven’t gotten the first hand experience he has. Michael Rasmussen being one, grew up in British Columbia and hasn’t had the chance to learn from a proven leader, specifically to the Red Wings like Zetterberg.
But what has he done to show he’s a true leader? Well, after breezing through his rookie campaign, because teams weren’t expecting him to be as good as he was, his opponents adjusted, leading to his sophomore slump last year. Instead of just accepting that he would never reach his old form again, Larkin went to work and made changes to his game, and the results so far this year have been promising. Larkin has been down right dominant, posting 8 points in his first 7 games, and at 5v5 a CF% of 57.32 (Martin Frk is the only player ahead of him, but has played almost 30 minutes less then Larkin) and his P/60 is at 3.28 (any surprise the only player ahead of him is Zetterberg). Larkin’s ability to battle adversity speaks volumes about his work ethic and determination. All while he’s was making the transition from wing to center, which he has looked fantastic at on both sides of the ice.
Larkin is the perfect candidate to follow in Zetterberg’s foot steps, come his retirement. When that time comes, in what Zetterberg says will be in 4 years, Larkin will only have more NHL experience by then and continue to get better as he will be in the middle of his prime.
Now, say it with me, 1, 2, 3 LETS HAVE FUN!
Advanced stats courtsey of http://www.corsica.hockey/