It's Time for Larkin to Make a Statement in the Playoffs for the Red Wings

The Detroit Red Wings are a legendary hockey franchise. Some of the sport’s greatest players wore the sweater with the “winged wheel” on their chest.

When a hockey player is a star for Detroit, it means he hoists the Stanley Cup, otherwise his name stays outside the inner circle of franchise legends.

Team captain Dylan Larkin, a hometown star raised in Michigan, is a great player. He is in the early stages of a great NHL career as a Red Wing. But until he gets his team deep into the playoffs, Larkin won’t be mentioned among the franchise icons. That rarified air is reserved for Howe, Yzerman, Lidstrom, Zetterberg, and a few select others.

Needs a good start at Little Caesars Arena Oct. 14th

The Wings begin the 2023-24 NHL season in mid-October. Their first game at Little Caesars Arena will be Oct. 14 when they host the Tampa Bay Lightning. Expectations are murky: this team is still in a mode of rebuilding and forming into possible winners.

The Red Wings have not been in the playoffs since 2016. For hockey fans in Michigan, that’s an eternity. Larkin has only played five playoff games in his career. He has just one playoff point, a goal in the first round in 2016 against Tampa Bay. He was only 19 back then, but now as captain of the Red Wings, the 27-year old must lead his team to the NHL Playoffs if he wants to be taken seriously as a possible franchise great.

Larkin, has captured the hearts of fans and the respect of his peers through his exceptional skills, leadership qualities, and unwavering commitment to the game. His journey from a promising prospect to a bona fide NHL star is a testament to his dedication, versatility, and determination. But it’s not enough.

Drafted by the Detroit Red Wings in the first round of the 2014 NHL Entry Draft, Larkin quickly made his mark on the ice. Known for his remarkable speed, agility, and strong two-way play, Larkin's versatility has been a cornerstone of his success. He seamlessly transitions from playing center to wing, making him a dynamic asset for his team in various situations.

One of Larkin's defining qualities is his leadership. Despite his relatively young age, he was named an alternate captain for the Red Wings, a testament to the respect he commands from both his teammates and coaching staff. Larkin's work ethic, passion for the game, and willingness to lead by example have made him a role model for aspiring players and a source of inspiration for his team.

Larkin's offensive prowess is equally impressive. He possesses excellent playmaking abilities, demonstrating the vision to set up scoring opportunities for his teammates. His ability to find open spaces on the ice and create scoring chances has resulted in a consistently increasing point production, showcasing his growth as a player.

Larkin got the makings of a Red Wings all-star

Beyond statistics, Larkin's impact extends to the intangibles that define a true star. He's known for his tenacity and grit, often battling opponents larger in stature. His willingness to put in the extra effort, both in practice and during games, sets a standard that his teammates are inspired to follow.

Off the ice, Larkin's involvement in the community highlights his dedication to making a positive impact beyond the rink. He engages in various charitable activities, using his platform to give back to the city that he represents on the ice. Larkin's commitment to philanthropy underscores his character and genuine desire to contribute to the well-being of others.

As Larkin continues to evolve as a player, he embraces the challenges that come with being a cornerstone of the Red Wings' rebuilding phase. His growth and development mirror the team's own journey, making him a symbol of hope for fans who eagerly await the resurgence of their beloved franchise.

Team president Steve Yzerman knows about being a prodigy. He was 18 when he strapped on a chinstrap for the first time in the NHL. Stevie Y went on to become the youngest captain in team history, and he led the team to three Stanley Cup titles. Yzerman, more than anyone, knows how to meld Larkin into a fierce, formidable playoff leader.

But the time is now next year or the year after that. Larkin needs to stay healthy and lead his teammates back where they belong, the NHL playoffs. That’s the only place Detroit hockey legends are born.

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