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Larkin motivated to be great, make Red Wings contenders again

Dylan Larkin 2020 camp
Posted at 8:09 PM, Jan 02, 2021
and last updated 2021-01-02 20:09:47-05

DETROIT — Dylan Larkin has been eager to return to the ice at Little Caesars Arena.

Like all of the Red Wings who return from last season's last-place finish, he's ready to begin a new season.

"It was one of the hardest years of my life, and then you had to sit at home for months and think about it with everything happening in the world," he said on Saturday.

The number one question anybody around the Red Wings gets asked is when Larkin will be named captain. The team plans to name a captain this season, but Steve Yzerman hasn't specified when that will happen. Larkin said the general manager hasn't said anything to him about that, but that they talk a lot about leadership.

"(The talks) have been about being a good teammate," Larkin said. "For me, just buying into that, that's something that's not hard to do. It's something past leaders I've been around have done every day."

The Red Wings added veterans through free agency and trades to help the growth of young players like Larkin, as the team still hopes to hit in the draft.

"We're gonna be a hard team to play against," Larkin said.

The 24-year-old was Detroit's first-round pick in 2014. He's entering his sixth season, and has led the Red Wings in points each of the last three seasons. He wants the Red Wings to take the next step as a team, and said his own development is meshed within the team's growth.

"I want to be a great player in this league. I want our team to be a great team that's respected and back in contention for the Stanley Cup," he said.

The Wings open the season on Jan. 14 against the Hurricanes.

"I'm just excited to play hockey," he said when asked about the unique setting of playing in empty stadiums. "You put a puck out there, throw the Red Wings jersey on, it doesn't matter where or when."