Embed from Getty Images Talking to the media Monday after the Detroit Red Wings cleaned out their lockers at Little Caesars Arena, general manager Ken Holland gave insight as to when the Wings will have another player with a ‘C’ on his sweater.
During the 2018-19 season the Red Wings went with four alternates captains instead of one. Frans Nielsen , Niklas Kronwall and Justin Abdelkader joined Larking with an “A” on their sweaters. That is simply too many voices in the locker room.
Veteran Wings forward Thomas Vanek noted how much growth he has seen in Larkin this past season. “For sure I can see him be a good captain, a good leader.” Vanek said matter-of-factly.
Holland left open the possibility that if the Wings sign a superstar in free agency, “maybe that affects your thinking.” It is difficult to see someone who has yet to play for the Red Wings being handed the team leader. Henrik Zetterberg and his predecessors, Nicklas Lidstrom and Steve Yzerman, were all draft picks who spent their entire careers with the Red Wings organization.
Detroit drafted Dylan Larkin in 2014, ahead of their rebuild. He has been a leader in the locker room, on ice and in the community. Ken Holland ended by saying this, “He’s a legitimate candidate, He plays hard. He’s a tremendous player. He’s going to be the face of this franchise. Certainly he would be a leading candidate to be the next captain, but I’m not prepared to have that announcement today.”
The end of the season is not the time or place to name a captain. Players were packing their belongings before heading off to the homes. With the season that saw setbacks and a glimpse at a brighter future. It was time to disengage and focus on summer.
Training camp will open soon enough. A new season, a bright future, a new captain.