The Detroit Red Wings and captain Dylan Larkin agreed to terms on an eight-year contract extension on Wednesday, per multiple reports. The contract has an annual average value of $8.7 million, worth nearly $70 million in salary over the eight years. Larkin was set to become an unrestricted free agent after this season.
The NHL Trade Deadline is Friday at 3 p.m. ET. If the Red Wings were going to go into the offseason with Larkin unsigned, there was a chance he would leave the franchise. There was also a chance the Red Wings could trade Larkin before the deadline if he wasn’t interested in a contract extension. That appears not to be the case and Larkin will remain the cornerstone of Detroit’s forward group for the rest of the decade.
The Red Wings have some more tough decisions to make this offseason and before the deadline on Friday. LW Tyler Bertuzzi is a pending unrestricted free agent as well. There’s rumors the Red Wings could look to move Bertuzzi before the deadline, conceding that the team won’t compete for the Stanley Cup this season. Detroit is just five points out of the first Wild Card from the Eastern Conference. There are a lot of teams competing for that spot and the odds of the Red Wings prevailing are slim.
Pius Suter and Oskar Sundqvist are also pending UFA this offseason. David Perron, Andrew Copp and Dominik Kubalik will be back. Perron and Kubalik have skated with Larkin most of this season along with Bertuzzi. Defenseman Moritz Seider is also eligible for a contract extension this offseason, so odds are he gets paid along with Larkin.