Fast-forward a year and Larkin has not only been playing like a captain but he's an NHL All-Star.
Larkin, who is 25, is currently under contract with the Red Wings through the 2022-23 season, at which point he would become an unrestricted free agent.
That being said, it is expected that the Red Wings will lock him up long-term before it ever gets to that point.
On Wednesday, Max Bultman of The Athletic released his latest mailbag questions/answers and one of them addressed Larkin and what a contract extension offer from the Red Wings could look like.
From The Athletic:
Looking at potential comparables: Evgeny Kuznetsov’s eight-year deal with the Capitals came at a $7.8 million AAV and 10.4 percent of the salary cap. On an $82.5 million cap (the league has said it expects the cap to rise by a million next season), that would be about $8.6 million. Logan Couture’s eight-year extension in San Jose was an $8 million AAV at 10.06 percent of the cap (about $8.3 million on an $82.5 million cap). Ryan Johansen’s eight-year deal with Nashville was at $8 million AAV and 10.67 percent of the cap ($8.8 million on an $82.5 million cap). Matt Duchene’s seven-year deal with the Predators was an $8 million AAV at 9.82 percent of the cap ($8.1 million on an $82.5 million cap).
That sets a pretty robust (and fair) precedent for Larkin, coming in somewhere between $8 million and $9 million on an eight-year deal. And if I were the Red Wings, I’d like to get that settled this summer.
I agree 100% with Bultman on this topic. Larkin has emerged as a legit, top-line NHL center, and he is clearly the leader on the Red Wings. You can bet that the Red Wings will do what they can to lock Larkin up long-term before the 2022-23 season begins.
Nation, if you were Steve Yzerman, what kind of contract would you offer to Larkin?