Dylan Larkin changes representation as Red Wings contract talks loom
Detroit — The timing, if nothing else, is a bit curious.
Red Wings captain Dylan Larkin, who can begin negotiating a contract extension on July 13 on the first day of NHL free agency, has decided to switch representation.
Larkin is now with CAA, represented by Matt Williams and Pat Brisson, leaving KO Sports.
Larkin, 25, is about to begin the final year of his five-year contract worth $30.5 million ($6.1 million per salary cap hit) he signed in 2018.
Kurt Overhardt, KO Sports chief executive officer, was disappointed to hear about Larkin's decision in a statement released Thursday.
“From a relationship standpoint, Dylan Larkin worked primarily with my business partner, Joe Oliver. Throughout the past 11 years, Joe has thoughtfully guided Dylan through countless matters both on and off the ice," Overhardt said in his statement. "There was never a single issue raised between Dylan and Joe for the entirety of their professional relationship and Joe was completely blindsided by this decision. For the past several months, Joe had been working directly with Dylan in preparation to negotiate his contract extension with the Detroit Red Wings.
“As with all of our clients, our work on behalf of Dylan was at the highest standard in all situations. We are very disappointed in his decision and the timing.”
CAA is one of the NHL's leading, star-studded agencies, representing Sidney Crosby, Nathan MacKinnon, Patrick Kane, Jack Eichel and Jack Hughes.
Red Wings forwards Jakub Vrana and Lucas Raymond are also clients.
Larkin is coming off one of his best seasons, with 31 goals and 38 assists for 69 points in 71 games. Larkin's ended several weeks before the schedule concluded to have core muscle surgery.
During his season-ending media conference, Larkin, a Waterford native who starred at Michigan, said he was confident and hopeful a new contract agreement would be worked out — but was ready for anything.
"I'm pretty confident," Larkin said of agreeing on a new deal at some point. "I haven't been in this position with (general manager) Steve (Yzerman), so I'm excited to see what he has to say. I really would like to get something done. I don't know if there's been any conversation yet but just waiting to hear.
"Just, as I've gotten older and more experienced in the league, I've really seen it firsthand with my past teammates and friends that I've really learned the business side of the game. I've been fortunate enough to be here, just finishing my seventh season and I really love being a Detroit Red Wing, and I love being the captain of the team and this team is going to do special things in the near future.
"I don't really envision myself being anywhere else, but I also understand there's a business side of hockey."
Though optimistic about the Wings' future, given the impact of rookies Moritz Seider and Lucas Raymond, Larkin admitted the losing the Wings have encountered in recent years has been difficult.
"It's difficult to be in this position again, yes, but I love being a Detroit Red Wing and I love the passion our fans brought to the rink this year," Larkin said. "I love that we have a great group of young players and a great locker room that certainly has made the hard times much easier showing up to the rink and going to battle with good people.
"But, I don't think anyone wants to be in this position forever, or much longer, certainly. There is frustration, but I do understand what Steve is trying to do and what the end goal is, and that's to win the Stanley Cup for our fans and the city of Detroit.
"I believe in that, and I'm excited for the future."