Answering all the tough Detroit Red Wings questions heading into February

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Dylan Larkin, Red Wings, Detroit Red Wings

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As the Detroit Red Wings enjoy a much-needed extended ten-day All-Star break, aside for captain Dylan Larkin, of course, who is Detroit’s lone representative. In this edition of ‘answering all the tough questions,’ I was fortunate enough to catch up with George Malik of The Malik Report.

I wanted to get George’s opinion on many questions surrounding the current state of this Red Wings team and get an idea of what general manager Steve Yzerman may elect to do ahead of the March 3rd trade deadline. Plus, I needed his thoughts on the Yzerman-Dylan Larkin contract stalemate and much more. Enjoy.

If Detroit Red Wings captain Dylan Larkin continues to put up points as he has so far, could an extension come sooner rather than later? If so, what do you think the figures are for that?

This is just my gut feeling, but I think this contract negotiation may very well “go the distance” until just before free agency begins. Pat Brisson is a hell of an agent, and he’s a tough negotiator–you may remember his name from Sergei Fedorov’s 2003 departure to Anaheim over what was (depending upon whom you believe) either a contract taken off the table by the Red Wings after it was agreed to or a contract that Fedorov agreed to and bolted anyway.

In any case, my sense from the very little tidbits of information that come out from the S.S. Detroit Red Wings, a submarine equipped for silent running and no damn leaks by its GM, is simple: this is a really hard negotiation, and the Mathew Barzal contract made everything a mess because Lou Lamoriello of all people went and paid Barzal the kind of money that Larkin is now probably worth in terms of “market value”–$9.15 million per season.

Now we all know, between people who are truly plugged-in like Helene St. James, Kevin Allen, Elliotte Friedman, et al. that the GM is not so keen on moving from an 8-year max-length contract in the $8 million range, and Larkin via Brisson wants something with a 9 in front of it. How that gap is bridged, I’m not certain, but I don’t think that Larkin will get traded unless negotiations completely fall apart.

Again, my gut feeling here, and that’s just experience, and tea-leaf-reading talking, is that this doesn’t get settled until at least after the 2022-2023 regular season ends, if not a May-or-June situation.

But I believe that Larkin will remain a Red Wing until/unless he signs somewhere else. In his case, Yzerman has to take the leap of faith that he will hammer out a deal via creative bonuses or the like.

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