The Red Wings announced on Friday the signing of restricted free agent forward Dylan Larkin to a five-year deal.
— Detroit Red Wings (@DetroitRedWings) August 10, 2018
Per idiotic team policy, the financial terms of the contract were not announced, but The Athletic’s Craig Custance almost immediately reported the deal to be worth $6.1 million annually.
Dylan Larkin signs five-year deal worth $6.1 million annually.
— Craig Custance (@CraigCustance) August 10, 2018
Larkin will be an unrestricted free agent when the contract ends.
With the signing, the Red Wings have 22 players on their roster for next season and $82,772,044 against the salary cap, which is set at $79,500,000. While Johan Franzen going on LTIR will save them almost $4 million, those numbers include only six defensemen on the roster, leaving the Red Wings in a bit of a cap crunch, especially if Michael Rasmussen and Filip Zadina are expected to compete for roster spots.
Even assuming that Martin Frk and Luke Witkowski are treated as expendable and are replaced on the roster by Rasmussen and Zadina, the Red Wings end up about $44,000 over the cap without resolving their blueline depth issues.
Shifting Witkowski to defense and sending Frk to Grand Rapids could possibly open a spot for either Rasmussen or Zadina but then Joe Hicketts and Filip Hronek are shut out of a spot in Detroit.
Bottom line? If any of “the kids” are going to make the Red Wings’ opening night roster, more moves are coming, with Henrik Zetterberg’s health likely to play a large part in that.