The Detroit Red Wings opted not to go with a captain for the 2018 - 2019 National Hockey League regular season, but there has been constant chatter around the team regarding who the next man to wear the "C" for the Red Wings will be. The heavy favorite has consistently been star forward Dylan Larkin, although in spite of being in the NHL for 4 seasons now he still has not been awarded the honor.
Larkin today remains the favorite and with a former Detroit Red Wings' captain in Steve Yzerman now taking over the reigns of the organization there have been some rumblings that a new captain will finally be named. Although it is still unclear who the next man to wear the "C" for the Red Wings will be, Larkin made it clear this week that he feels he is more than prepared to fill those shoes.
"I feel ready for it," Larkin said as per TSN this week. "I think it's something that I can't focus on. I can't lose sleep about it. I can't control it. I just try to be myself and play the game that I love and play with a lot of passion and everyone in the NHL has been a leader at some point in their careers. I'm lucky that we have great veteran leadership and it's taken a lot of pressure off me."
There's no doubt in my mind that Larkin is aware of the giant shoes he would be stepping into if he did indeed end up wearing the "C" next season. The last 3 players to wear that letter in Detroit were guys named Steve Yzerman, Nicklas Lindstrom, and of course Henrik Zetterberg, 3 truly all time great NHL players and Larkin would have a giant hill to climb ahead of him before reaching the status that any of those players currently hold in the city of Detroit. It does not appear though that this intimidates Larkin, if anything it sounds like the young man is hungry for the responsibility to be thrust upon his shoulders.
"A letter is a letter, but being a captain of a franchise like the Detroit Red Wings would mean a lot to me. If it happens, it happens. If it doesn't, I still get to play for the Detroit Red Wings and I get to play in the NHL and I'm going to try to play my best."
For those of you who may feel that captaining a historic franchise like the Red Wings may be too big of a burden for Larkin, it sounds like he may have outside help. During his interview with TSN Larkin sung the praises of Henrik Zetterberg, calling him the best captain he ever played for at any level, and it sounds like Zetterberg, a true leader, has continued his leadership even though he is no longer an active player for the Red Wings.
"(He's) someone to this day that I'm in contact with, I still text him if I ever stumble upon things or have problems so he's been one of the greatest mentors I've ever had," said Larkin.
Is Larkin ready? Or should the Red Wings continue to operate the way they have as of late with the leadership duties divided among a large group of players?