Friday, August 10, 2018

Larkin Inks Long-Term in Detroit

One of the bigger restricted free agents has now come off the list, as the Detroit Red Wings announced a new deal for forward Dylan Larkin, signing him to a 5-year, $30.5 million contract on Friday.  The reports through the summer had been pretty positive that the deal would eventually get done, but there likely was a lot of negotiation, given where the Red Wings were sitting against the salary cap.

Larkin broke out in the final year of his entry-level deal, scoring 16 goals and 63 points, playing in all 82 games for the Wings in the regular season.  That was good enough for 74th overall in pool scoring, 56th among all forwards, not to mention being the top player on the team.  It was that kind of season that forced the hand of the team to sign him long-term, instead of a bridge deal, which may have helped them financially in the short-term.

The 22-year old is now the face of the franchise, but the team is slowly adding more youth to their roster and getting some good luck in the draft as well, so the rebuild is coming along in Detroit.

The $6.1 million cap hit that Larkin will now burden the Wings with moving forward has eaten up the rest of the team's workable cap space, including the LTIR help that Johan Franzen will give, when he's put on at the start of the regular season.  With a 22-man roster and Franzen on LTIR, the Wings, by my projections, are left with $552,000 in cap space, if the season started today.  Yikes!

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