According to Dylan Larkin’s agent Pat Brisson, things between the Detroit Red Wings and the pending UFA are not dire. Negotiations have not gone well to date, but there’s still time to work things out and the Red Wings will try to see if terms on an extension can be reached. While many insiders feel this deal will eventually get done, what if the two sides can’t come together on something? Is Larkin potentially a name that fans hear more about as the 2023 NHL Trade Deadline creeps closer?
If so, there are a few teams that might have an interest in the speedy and productive pivot.
Boston Bruins are Larkin’s Best Shot at Winning
A number of insiders are connecting the Boston Bruins to Dylan Larkin. Emily Kaplan of ESPN notes that the two sides (Red Wings and Larkin) are very far apart in contract talks. If something gets resolved it could happen in the offseason. She believes he’ll be a Red Wing until the end of the season because of his no-trade clause, but what if he wants a shot with a contender? The Bruins are his best bet.
Jimmy Murphy of Boston Hockey Now writes that rumors of Detroit kicking around on Bo Horvat could be an indicator of an off-season play. He notes, “Could the Red Wings’ interest in Horvat pave the way for the Bruins and other NHL teams to make a push for Detroit Red Wings captain Dylan Larkin?” He adds, “on Tuesday an NHL pro scout opined to BHN that he thinks Larkin could make tons of sense for the Bruins if they feel like there’s a strong chance Bruins captain Patrice Bergeron and fellow center David Krejci are in their last hurrah.”
Seattle Kraken Could Make a Splash
A number of teams are expecting the Seattle Kraken to make some kind of play at the deadline. Shane Wright doesn’t appear to be part of this season’s picture, but what if he’s used as a trade chip to land someone like Larkin, who could form a powerful No. 1 and No. 2 punch with Matthew Beniers?
If not Wright, prospects Jagger Firkus, Ryker Evans, and Jani Nyman could become trade bait and Kraken GM Ron Francis has three second-round picks in the 2023 draft at his disposal. Seattle Hockey Insider Rob Simpson has noted that the priorities for the Kraken are improving their blue line and their center ice depth.
Carolina Hurricanes Have Money to Spend
Another team looking for scoring that might like the idea of adding another top-six forward is Carolina. With the loss of Max Pacioretty, the Hurricanes have money available this season to spend on a rental and they’re a franchise that would be motivated to make a push. They sit first in the Metropolitan Division with New Jersey not that far behind and they’ll need to go through Boston if they’re going to make it to the Stanley Cup Final.
Wild Want a Top-Line Center
As per Frank Seravalli of Daily Faceoff, the Wild have been “knocking on the door if they could find a bonafide No. 1 center to make magic with Kirill the Thrill Kaprizov. They have the cap space to make it happen, too, with a projected $7 million cushion at deadline time.” Like many teams, they missed out on Bo Horvat and Seravalli suggests Larkin could make for a great fit.
This is the season the Wild need to make their push. They’ll have $14 million in dead cap space to contend with next season and they have a decent trade chip in Matt Dumba if they decide to use it.
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