The Detroit Red Wings and their captain may not be as close when it comes to negotiating a new deal as the two sides may have hoped when talks between general manager Steve Yzerman and the representation for Red Wings forward Dylan Larkin began earlier this summer.
There's little doubt that after putting up 31 goals and 38 assists for a total of just 69 points in 71 games last season that Larkin is set to earn a significant raise on his current cap hit of $6.1 million per season, but how much of a raise that will be appears to be the question holding everything up. In fact, recently Red Wings insider Ansar Khan indicated the fact that things have moved so slowly is likely a sign of a significant gap between the two parties in this negotiation.
No deal is done, so it’s safe to assume Larkin’s agent and Red Wings general manager Steve Yzerman are far apart.
According to Khan, negotiations began sometime around mid July and the hope was to get a deal done prior to the start of the regular season, but a big ask from Larkin's camp may stalling things out. Khan indicates that he wouldn't be surprised if Larkin's camp is seeking a contract that carried an average annual value and salary cap hit of $9 million per season, and that would certainly give general manager Steve Yzerman and the Red Wings quite a lot to think about.
It's worth noting that Larkin himself appears to be taking this phase of his career very seriously, including making a change in his representation after the conclusion of this past season. Larkin is now represented by Matt Williams and Pat Brisson of the Creative Arts Agency, some of the most powerful, successful and influential agents in the sport of hockey.
Larkin does have a considerable amount of leverage in this situation as well. A full no-trade clause on his current contract means that the Red Wings would be very limited if they fail to get a deal done and are instead forced to consider a trade in the weeks leading up to the trade deadline if an extension is not in place. Although the Red Wings insider has indicated he does not expect things will reach that point.