Red Wings: Detroit’s Biggest Trade Chip, Dylan Larkin

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The trade deadline is March 21 at 3:00 PM ET and GM’s across the NHL are busy tending the phones.  Detroit General Manager Steve Yzerman has always been busy at this time of year.  One could only ask, Is Dylan Larkin on his way out of Hockeytown?  With Yzerman as the Red Wings GM, you never know.  Yzerman has been known to make significant trades at the deadline and Larkin is currently in his prime, so why not trade Larkin when he could fetch the most?  If it could happen to Gretzky, why not Larkin?

Here is a look at what may happen before the March 21 deadline.

Why trading Larkin is a good idea

Dylan Larkin is enjoy the best season of his NHL career.  Trading a player when he is at his pinnacle is what should happen.  That’s probably why Filip Zadina is still wearing the Winged Wheel.  This year, Larkin is well on his way to eastablishing career highs for goals and points.  In 54 games, Larkin has scored 27 goals while his career high is 32, in 76 games.  Larkin had a career year in 2018-19 when he scored 73 points in 76 games.  This year, Larkin has scored 57 points in 54 games, the first time in his NHL career where he has averaged more than one point per game.

Larkin has one year remaining on his current contract before he becomes an UFA.  The Red Wings don’t want to flirt with the idea that Larkin can leave next summer without receiving something in return.  Larkin could also sustain a major injury between now and the next trade dealine that could reduce his value.  Trade Larikn now and receive the most you will possibly ever get in return.

Larkin is also cold as ice.  Before Wednesday’s game in Edmonton, Larkin has all but one assist during the current five game losing streak.  As a matter of fact, Larkin only has one goal in his last eight games.  What is even more troubling, is that Larkin also has a -10 rating in his last eight games.

Why keeping Larkin may happen

Dylan Larkin has a cap hit of $6.1M annually.  With his contract expiring after next season, the Red Wings could try to sign Larkin to an extension.  There is no rush to trade Larkin before talks have happened in the off-season.  General Manager Steve Yzerman could try to sign Larkin to an extension before the Entry Draft this summer.  Failure to land an extension with Larkin will likely result in a trade before the draft.

Larkin is the captain and has been the center of attention during the toughest rebuild in three decades.  He routinely talks to the press, cushions the blow after difficult games, and is the type of veteran that the Red Wings can build around.

What if Larkin Worth?

If Larkin is extended, the Red Wings will have to pay dearly.  Larkin is in his prime and this will most likely be his biggest payday.  An extension in the $40M range for five years is not out of the question.  He may even get more!!!

If Larkin is traded, the Red Wings will fetch a king’s ransom.  It wouldn’t be out of the question for the Red Wings to get two first rounder selections, a top middle six forward, and at least one of two prospects.

In reality, Larkin will likely remain Detroit property for now, but one never knows with Steve Yzerman at the helm of the Detroit rebuild!!!!

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