On Saturday, the Detroit Red Wings officially announced that they would not be renewing the contract of head coach Jeff Blashill after he spent the last seven seasons in Hockeytown and three days later, C Dylan Larkin spoke to the media about how he felt when the news broke.
“It's a tough feeling. You don't want to see anyone get fired or lose their job,” Larkin said Tuesday in a season-ending press conference. “It's just another emotion for a disappointing end to the season. We don't want to continue to be in this spot much longer.
“Everyone heard what Steve had to say (Monday) and they're looking for answers and it's a bit of wake-up call for us again.”
Larkin added that though the Red Wing have struggled to win hockey games, he believes Blashill did a fine job of keeping the team together.
“He really kept this thing together and like everyone knows, he's a great person,” Larkin said. “Coming to the rink, we knew what we would get and he was consistent with that, and I thank him for seven years.”
Dylan Larkin believes the Red Wings took a step forward
Despite a rough season, Larkin is convinced that the Red Wings took a step forward in their rebuild and that they are moving in the right direction.
“I believe we're in a better spot today than we were a couple years ago,” Larkin said. “You draft players and for the last number of years, we've just been acquiring a lot of draft picks, and it gets frustrating when you don't see (the fruits of trades). You lose NHL players and you don't get anything in return.
“Now, you see the Lucas Raymonds and Mo Seiders come into our lineup and have an impact and it certainly gives me hope for the future because they're real good players and people, high-character guys, and now they're starting to come and it makes me excited and more optimistic about the future, absolutely.
“It's difficult to be in this position again, yes, but I love being a Detroit Red Wing and I love the passion our fans brought to the rink this year. I love that we have a great group of young players and a great locker room that certainly has made the hard times much easier showing up to the rink and going to battle with good people.
“But, I don't think anyone wants to be in this position forever, or much longer, certainly. There is frustration, but I do understand what Steve is trying to do and what the end goal is, and that's to win the Stanley Cup for our fans and the city of Detroit.
“I believe in that, and I'm excited for the future.”
Nation, do you believe the Red Wings took a step forward during the 2021-22 season?