Being named captain of a team is an honor. It is an honor that only comes with sacrifice, dedication, hard work and leadership. Dylan Larkin a local Michigan resident from birth who played his college hockey at the University of Michigan, was drafted by the hometown Detroit Red Wings in the first round of the 2014 NHL Draft. Yesterday, Larkin took his place along some of the greatest names in NHL history and was named captain of the Detroit Red Wings.
In the rafters at Little Caesars Area are not only Championship banners but also retired jersey numbers of Red Wings legends. Ted Lindsay, Alex Delvecchio, Sid Abel, Steve Yzerman and Nicklas Lidstrom are some of the players who’s numbers are retired. They also have a common theme, those five former Red Wing players all wore the captain’s “C” .
Steve Yzerman, who is now the Red Wings general manager, yesterday announced Dylan Larkin will be the next captain of the fabled franchise. When asked what stood out to him about Larkin Yzerman stated “He stands out as a leader in his work ethic, his competitiveness, his commitment, his inner drive to be really good, to win.”
Yzerman knows first hand what is means to be captain in Detroit and for the Red Wings, he severed over 20 years as the organizations captain. As soon as he was drafted by Detroit, Dylan Larkin had been the center of much speculation that he would indeed one day be named captain.
“It’s hard to put into words,” Larkin said in a Zoom interview with media, “I understand the significance of this role. I’ve seen it, been around it, I’ve been a fan and been to games. I can’t be more honored. I try to be myself every day and I have a great support system. It doesn’t stop here. I don’t change who I am. It means so much to me.”
Dylan Larkin, becomes the first Michigander to be named captain. He follows Henrik Zetterberg as Red Wings captain. The Red Wings made the announcement on social media with a very effective picture.
Embed from Getty Images As Dylan Larkin skated out of the penalty box, he skated with anger. Sure he had just committed a penalty, but Larkin skated as though he was/is disappointed where the Red Wings are in the standings. He was streaking all alone towards world class goalie Sergei Bobrovsky of the Florida Panthers.
In an instant, Larkin’s teammate Darren Helm snapped the puck to Larkin and Larkin found the back of the net. Dylan Larkin’s 100th career goal comes as one of the few bright spots in this Detroit Red Wings season.
Larkin became the sixth Red Wings player in the last 40 years to score 100 goals before the age of 24. Dylan is the second youngest of the Red Wings group at 23 years old and five months. Steve Yzerman is the youngest at 21 years old to hit 100 goals.
Dylan Larkin who is speculated to be the next captain of the Red Wings has blossomed into a solid two-way player under Red Wings coach Jeff Blashill. Larkin, works hard at both ends of the ice at all times.
Larkin is worthy of being the next team and franchise captain. In my opinion the reason has not yet been named captain, is general manager Steve Yzerman said he wanted to get to know everyone in the orgainzation first before making the call.
As each game passes, it becomes clearer and clearer, Larkin will get the “C” on his hockey sweater very soon.
Embed from Getty Images In what turned into an outpouring of vocal shocked and angry fans the Detroit Red Wings announced they would not name a team captain. It has been widely assumed since the team drafted him that Dylan Larkin would be the successor to Henrik Zetterberg. Larkin has been the face of the Detroit rebuild.
Dylan Larkin, Frans Nielsen and Justin Abdelkader will return with an “A” on the front of their sweaters. Luke Glendening will replace newly retired Niklas Kronwall as an alternate captain.
Detroit Red Wings general manager said upon the press conference to announce him as the organizations new architects that he needed time to get to know the entire team. The fact that he is unwilling at this time to place a “C” on a players jersey should come as no surprise.
Red Wings head coach Jeff Blashill did say that “we reserve the right to change our mind.” He hinted Dylan Larkin could still be named captain at some point this season, but “right now, that’s not our focus. Our focus is on how we’re going to attack the year.”
Blashill said after talking with new general manager Steve Yzerman, it was determined to go with the four alternates. In my opinion there could be a couple reasons for the decision. Only Yzerman and Blashill know for sure.
The Detroit Red Wings pipeline is the strongest it has been in a very long time. The Red Wings prospects just finished a tournament and players like Joe Veleno and Moritz Seider, showed on ice leadership. With the eyes of the general manager watching.
Yzerman, sat in his box with the rest of his Red Wings staff with him. The smart thinking is he may want to do the same thing for the first month or two of the 2019-20 Red Wings season.
In the grand scheme, this is a good move. It is important to have the right captain. The Red Wings last three captains served a long time. Steve Yzerman 1986-2006, Nicklas Lidstrom 2006-2012 and Henrik Zetterberg 2013-2018.
The choice will come soon enough. But, first the general manager needs to get a pulse on his team.
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.
Embed from Getty Images If there was any question who the next captain of the Detroit Red Wings would be that question has been answered. The Red Wings are woefully bad. But young players have taken HUGE steps forward. One player stands above all.
After the worst loss of the season 8-1 at home to Montreal, young Detroit Red Wings center was seen on the bench starting at his teammates in a moment of total anger and frustration. Larkin took his helmet off and slammed it on the ground. He walked up the tunnel to collect himself before rejoining the team.
Asked about it after the game Larking stood before the Detroit media and said “I was not happy with my performance or the teams effort. It starts with me.” Just like that a captain was found. Not that Dylan Larkin was not going to be the guy.
Enjoying a fantastic season on a personal note. With 26 goals and 61 points in 63 games. Larkin is one of the NHL’s best young players. He leads by example. He also leads by his words.
After Henrik Zetterberg retired, Detroit said no one person would be named captain for the 2018-19 season. Fair enough. As the season started and has gone along Larkin has separated himself from the rest of the really good young talent in Motown.
He has stood in front of the media most nights after a loss like a pro as he explained the reason for another loss. That is something captains or a veteran player does.
The Detroit Red Wings are on the doorstep of being very good again. With just under $18 million in cap space this Summer Detroit is sure to add some solid veterans to go with their young core.
The Red Wings will add players. They will get better. They many even skate for a Stanley Cup soon. They will do so under captain Dylan Larkin’s watch. That is very good news for Detroit hockey.