Wings’ Holland: No rush on getting Dylan Larkin to NHL

Ted Kulfan
The Detroit News

Traverse City — Dylan Larkin likely will have an impact in the NHL.

But it’s unlikely that will happen this season.

And, spending time in Grand Rapids instead of Detroit might not be worst thing.

Red Wings general manager Ken Holland said Thursday, on the eve of training camp, that Larkin will get a chance the next few weeks to show his ability.

But his long-range development has to be considered.

“It’s my responsibility to make sure they (young players) are put in a situation where they can fully develop and be the players we need them to be when they are 23, 24, and 25,” Holland said. “It’s great to have a 19-year-old on your roster, but when they’re not playing during key parts of the game, what are we getting out of this?

“Larkin is a good young player and we’ll give him an opportunity in training camp. We’ll make decisions that are best for Dylan Larkin.”

Larkin, a Waterford native who starred in his only season at Michigan last year, held his own at the World Championships, followed by a six-game stint in Grand Rapids where he had five points in the American Hockey League playoffs.

And, he was one of several players with a solid performance during the prospects tournament.

“To sit here and get hyped over 19- and 21-year-olds, it is totally unfair to those players,” Holland said. “They’re going to be good players. We’ve got to let them go.

“I look at Pavel Datsyuk and Henrik Zetterberg. We didn’t know how good Pav and Z would become. We brought them over (from Europe), they were good young players, they continued to develop. When they took over the team, they were 25, 26.”

Holland, beginning his 19th season as general manager, also touched on some other topics as camp begins:

■ On the condition of veterans: “The message at the end of the year was the importance of our older players to work harder than they ever have. As Father Time ticks away, you need to work harder to maintain. ... Our guys have made a real commitment in the summer off ice to be as prepared as they can be for this season.”

■ On the offense: “The addition of (Brad) Richards gives us another guy up front that can produce offense. We like to think we can score more, but I don’t know if it’s (all about) scoring. It’s about finding ways to build a team that can play with the best teams in our division and conference.”

■ On Tomas Jurco, who struggled to score last season and is out of minor league options: “Last year, he didn’t produce offense as he and we think he can. But they’re young players, and that’s part of the growing development.”

■ On the crowded defense: “We have seven veteran defensemen, all on one-way contracts. I’d like to have one of those young defensemen on the team, but I’m not sure it will happen by Opening Night.”