The Red Wings signed their future captain to a five-year contract on Friday.
Dylan Larkin finalized a contract worth just over $6 million annually, solidifying his future with his hometown team.
It's a contract both sides said works for the other, and it's an investment in a player and a leader the Red Wings believe will be at the center of their next generation of winning.
"I'm gonna talk about the captains. You look at Zetterberg, and I look at Lidstrom. I look at Steve Yzerman, and they really led by example," Ken Holland said.
"Dylan shows a lot of those intangibles."
Larkin is 22 years old. His rookie season was impressive, and he followed up a step-back sophomore season by leading the team in points this past season. His work ethic left Holland openly praising the Waterford native at the end of the regular season, and again after the deal got done.
“I feel pretty emotional about it,” Larkin said on Friday. “I'm very proud to be from Waterford and to be a local boy playing for the Red Wings. Five more years, it's a great feeling. It's special and it feels pretty cool.”
Henrik Zetterberg's bad back may drive him to retire before this season. He's the third man to wear the 'C' for the franchise since 1986. The Red Wings could go the route of teams like the Toronto Maple Leafs, who've waited to name a captain in order to wait for a young player like Auston Matthews to take shape as a natural leader.
"I want to drive the bus and be that go-to guy that is a main cog that is going to turn us around and get us back in the playoffs and make noise in the playoffs and one day reach the ultimate goal," Larkin said.
Holland explained why he signed Larkin to the deal he did.
"Dylan's resume is a little more accomplished and that's why we signed him to a longer-term contract with a bigger commitment," he added.