Larkin addresses pending UFA status: 'I really see myself as a Red Wing'
The trade deadline is almost one month away, and pending unrestricted free-agent forward Dylan Larkin still doesn't have a shiny, brand-new extension with the Detroit Red Wings. However, the captain made his priorities clear ahead of his third All-Star appearance in Florida.
"I've said it all along, and I stand by it: I really see myself as a Red Wing. (But) there's contract negotiating to be done," he said in an interview with ESPN's Greg Wyshynski. "This is my first time in this position as an unrestricted free agent. But I doubt contracts really ever go smoothly until they're done."
Larkin will meet with his agent Pat Brisson during this weekend's festivities to review all of his options, TSN's Pierre LeBrun reported during Thursday's edition of "Insider Trading."
Bo Horvat - another high-profile captain who can become a free agent in a few months - already came off the trade board earlier this week when the Vancouver Canucks dealt him to the New York Islanders in exchange for Anthony Beauvillier, Aatu Raty, and a conditional 2023 first-round selection.
Horvat, who said he thought he'd be a Canuck for life, did his best to block out the off-ice noise about his future in Vancouver all season long.
Now, Larkin is in the same boat. The Detroit Free Press reported in late January that the Red Wings offered him an eight-year pact with an average annual value of $8 million.
"It just seems people are fishing and speculating," Larkin said Thursday. "I don't really want my business out there. I understand we're in the spotlight and fans want to know. They deserve to know.
"But I think it's not really the most truthful, you know? It's just speculation, and I don't really read into that too much."
The 26-year-old is playing out the final season of a five-year pact with a cap hit of $6.1 million. He will likely be due for a substantial raise as he leads Detroit with 43 points in 47 games this season.
But the ball is mainly in his court since his contract includes a full no-trade clause.
The Red Wings' 2014 15th overall pick has 162 goals and 239 assists in 551 career NHL games.
Detroit currently sits seventh in the Atlantic Division with a 21-19-8 record, seven points out of the second wild-card spot in the Eastern Conference.
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