Red Wings captain Dylan Larkin took part in the NHL’s player media tour in Chicago this past week, and the first interview with Larkin from said slate of player-and-media interviews comes from NHL.com/sv, which is NHL.com’s Swedish site. NHL.com/sv’s Sebastian Noren spoke with Larkin regarding a couple of topics, and here’s a rough translation of their conversation, which focuses on (not so surprisingly) his relationship with Henrik Zetterberg:
“I remember the first time I met Zetterberg during my first day with the Red Wings, and I was very nervous then. He’s a cool guy and we’ve built a good relationship. But I will never forget how he treated me with respect on the first day, and that he knew my name. It was very special.”
The Red Wings have underwent a rebuild in recent years after players such as Zetterberg and Pavel Datsyuk retired. Detroit finished 7th in the Discover Central Division with 48 points in 56 games last season. Larkin’s season, however, came to an early end after he suffered a neck injury in a game against the Dallas Stars on April 20th. After rehabilitating during the summer, the team captain is fully healthy and ready when Detroit’s camp begins.
“Yes, it’s great (to be healthy). It’s been a tough summer. It was different to be injured at the beginning of the summer. It was a lot of rehab, but I’m looking forward to having it behind me and focusing on the season, with training camp and then starting to play games,” says Larkin.
“There’s a lot of motivation. Both me and the other guys on the team have a lot to prove this season. You enter each new season with optimism, and hope for 82 [good] games. So that’s a factor, but there’s an extra dimension with the changes we’ve made on the team and the guys who are back from injuries.”
“I think the changes on the playing roster are the big thing, as we enter the camp with better competition for jobs than we have in the last four or five years. There are guys fighting for every spot on the team and that’s exciting. That’s what you want when you step into a season. We’re much younger and we have more skill at every position,” says Larkin.