The Associated Press posted a capsule report regarding Dylan Larkin and his Red Wings team’s outlook:
The Detroit Red Wings have been mired in a long, painful rebuild and the end doesn’t seem to be in sight from outside the organization. The last time they made the playoffs five years ago, Dylan Larkin was a rookie. When the captain and center looks at the reshaped roster, he doesn’t have to feign optimism.
“It’s exciting, more so than any of my training camps in the past,” Larkin said. “We’ve had more competition at every part of our lineup.”
General manager Steve Yzerman, entering his third season in charge of the front office, also sees more talented players vying for playing time and yet still sounds as if he’s asking for more patience.
“I think we’re making progress, but it may not necessarily relate into wins and losses,” Yzerman said.
The Red Wings can help their chances if they start the season healthy and stay that way for their first 82-game season in two years. Larkin is recovering from a neck injury that limited him to 44 games last season. Tyler Bertuzzi is coming back from having back surgery in April.
“They’re a pair that I’d like to keep together all season if I can,” said coach Jeff Blashill, who was given a contract extension despite a career record of 177-221-62 in Detroit.