Maybe the most important moment of the foreseeable future for the Red Wings – Detroit has come to terms with restricted free-agent Dylan Larkin on a long-term deal. Larkin’s new contract locks him up for the next five years for $30.5 million. The AAV will come in at $6.1 million. They only buy one year of unrestricted free-agency.
Dylan Larkin signs five-year deal worth $6.1 million annually.
— Craig Custance (@CraigCustance) August 10, 2018
This is a bit of uncharted territory for the Wings. Detroit is no stranger to handing out long term contracts, but normally with unrestricted free-agents or soon to be ones. Larkin on the other hand is about to turn twenty-two and is coming off his entry-level contract. The confidence the organization has in him is what lead them to go long-term with Larkin, despite his relatively inexperienced career.
Steering away from the bridge-deal route was the smart move. Larkin was easily the Wings best player last season, leading the team in points and assists. His low-shooting percentage suggest he could only be improving as time goes on. He established himself as the number one center of the future and those don’t grow on trees. The only negative to this is that Larkin will be a UFA when the deal expires. That bridge will be crossed when the time comes but it is still something to consider.
Overall, the Wings took a step forward today. The possible next captain is now signed. The next step is to put talent around him. When Larkin is due for an extension, the team needs to be in contender status.