The Detroit Red Wings have named center Dylan Larkin of Waterford, MI as their 37th captain in franchise history according to Helene St. James of the Detroit Free Press on Wednesday. Larkin is the first Red Wings captain since Henrik Zetterberg had the position until he retired following the 2017-18 season.
Larkin is also only the second American captain in the history of the Red Wings organization, and the first Red Wings captain from the state of Michigan. The first American captain of the Red Wings was Reed Larson of Minneapolis, MN, who was the Red Wings’ captain from 1980 to 1982.
The naming of Larkin as Red Wings captain is an interesting choice. Last season in 71 games, Larkin led the Red Wings in scoring with 53 points. He also led Detroit with 34 assists, 223 shots on goal, and 715 faceoff wins. However, Larkin was still a -21, which says he still needs significant improvement in his own end before he should be considered an elite hockey player. He also had 19 goals, 39 penalty minutes, 14 power play points, 45 blocked shots, 52 hits, 43 takeaways, and 81 giveaways. Larkin’s 14 power play points were also tied for the Red Wings lead as Tyler Bertuzzi also recorded that mark.
The Red Wings are still in a rebuilding phase and will be in the next few seasons. While in the National Hockey League last season, the Red Wings had the worst record at 17 wins, 49 regulation losses, and five losses in extra time for only 39 points. They also were a -122 when it came to goals for and against, as they scored only 145 goals, and gave up 267 goals.
The Red Wings are a long ways off from their glory years when they were the best and most consistent team in the NHL. They made the playoffs every year from 1991 to 2016. In that span, they won four Stanley Cups in 1997, 1998, 2002, and 2008.