Detroit Red Wings: Bo Horvat’s new deal gives Dylan Larkin leverage

(Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)
(Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images) /

The hottest topic surrounding the Detroit Red Wings heading into and coming out of the All-Star break is the future of their captain Dylan Larkin with the organization.

Dylan Larkin, 26, is an unrestricted free agent this summer, and it seems contract talks between he and Red Wings general manager Steve Yzerman have stalled. The two sides are at a stalemate, but perhaps we will see some movement in the coming days as Yzerman and Larkin’s agent Pat Brisson was expected to meet during the All-Star break.

Brisson is a name many Red Wings fans may recall; he served as Sergei Fedorov’s agent when the superstar left Detroit for Anaheim in 2003. It almost feels like Brisson and Yzerman are two alpha negotiators, both not wanting to budge, which leaves the rest of us to ponder Larkin’s future in Detroit.

Before the season began, it felt like there was a 99% chance that Larkin would sign a contract extension with the Detroit Red Wings, and that still may be the case, but that number has significantly dropped, at least in my mind, with every passing day. I feel like it’s down around 65% now. Larkin said all of the right things during the All-Star break; he’s mentioned that he sees himself as a Red Wing and nothing else, but with the two sides evidently ‘dug-in’ when it comes to negotiations, anything can happen.

Although no one really knows what is happening behind the scenes because Yzerman holds his cards close to the vest and never tips his hand. It’s been reported numerous times that Larkin and the Detroit Red Wings remain about $1 million apart in negotiations. Both sides are willing to sign an eight-year agreement, the maximum allowed under the current CBA for a player re-signing with their current team. However, Yzerman is looking for an average annual salary (AAV) of $8 million, and Larkin’s camp is sitting somewhere around $9 million.

Bo Horvat’s new deal gives Dylan Larkin leverage in negotiations with the Detroit Red Wings.

There is plenty of comparison’s around the league to determine fair market value, but for every Matthew Barzal ($9.15 AAV), there is a Leon Draisaitl ($8.5 AAV). The latest comparison dropped Sunday afternoon when the New York Islanders signed Bo Horvat to an eight-year extension worth $68 million ($8.5 AAV). Islanders general manager Lou Lamoriello then commented, ‘It’s too long, and it’s too much money.’

The new Horvat deal does give Larkin leverage in negotiations.

Over this career, Horvat has averaged 0.676 points per game and 2.18 points per 60 minutes over his career. Horvat’s Relative Corsi For Percentage during even strength situations comes in at 0.9, and his Corsi For Percentage is 48.8.

In comparison, Larkin has averaged 0.727 points per game throughout his career. Larkin has averaged 2.22 points per 60 minutes during his career while maintaining a Relative Corsi For Percentage of 4.3 during even-strength situations. Larkin’s career Corsi For Percentage is also better than Horvat’s at 51.1.

Although I believe a deal will get done to keep Larkin in Detroit, the chance of trade can’t be ruled out until the March 3rd deadline passes. Only Yzerman and Brisson know the current status of their negotiations.

Next. Answering all the tough questions heading into February. dark

If the two sides determine that no deal will be reached, Yzerman may elect to trade Larkin rather than lose him for nothing to free agency over the summer. Also, it’s worth noting that Larkin must agree to waive his no-trade clause for a trade to occur.