Sunday NHL Rumor Roundup – August 28, 2022

by | Aug 28, 2022 | Rumors | 18 comments

In the Sunday NHL Rumor Roundup: speculation over Dylan Larkin’s next contract and future with the Red Wings plus a look at the contract talks of Stars youngsters Jason Robertson and Jake Oettinger.

MLIVE.COM: Ansar Khan mused over what center Dylan Larkin’s next contract with the Detroit Red Wings could look like. The 26-year-old Wings captain is slated to become an unrestricted free agent next July.

Detroit Red Wings center Dylan Larkin (NHL Images)

Khan reports the two sides have been discussing a contract extension since mid-July. No deal is done, suggesting Larkin’s agent and Red Wings general manager Steve Yzerman remain far apart.

Larkin is coming off a 31-goal, 69-point performance in 71 games last season, putting him in line for a substantial raise over the $6.1 million average annual value of his current contract. That could put him in the $8 million AAV range though Khan wouldn’t be surprised if the Larkin camp was seeking $9 million.

If talks extend into the coming season, Larkin’s performance could become a factor in determining his next contract, likely an eight-year deal. However, his name could surface in the rumor mill if there’s no contract in place leading up to the 2023 NHL trade deadline.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: It could take time for Larkin’s representatives and Yzerman to hammer out an agreement. I’ll be surprised if a deal isn’t in place before the trade deadline.

Larkin is seen as a key member of the rebuilding Red Wings’ core. I think Yzerman wants to maintain some continuity within his roster, especially with homegrown talent to provide leadership to the youngsters already in the lineup and coming up from their system.

I’m not suggesting talks won’t fall apart or Larkin won’t be traded, though his full no-trade clause gives him plenty of leverage. However, I believe the two sides will get a deal done that keeps him in Detroit for the long term.

THE ATHLETIC: In his latest mailbag segment, Saad Yousuf was asked how nervous Dallas Stars fans should be about Jason Robertson and Jake Oettinger not being signed right now. The two 23-year-olds are restricted free agents coming off their entry-level contracts.

Yousuf isn’t too concerned right now though he acknowledged the snail’s pace of negotiations given the lack of urgency at this time. “There was no arbitration hearing to contend with, there’s no imminent threat of an offer sheet and there has been no requirement for players to report anywhere,” he said.

Robertson and Oettinger are team-oriented players who don’t want to miss the start of training camp. However, that becomes a possibility if negotiations remain unsolved by that point. Yousuf suggests a bridge deal for both players might be best for both sides right now, speculating Robertson could get a $7 million AAV and Oettinger coming in at $4 million.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The threat of an offer sheet remains but I doubt Robertson or Oettinger are going to get one. That’s a rarely used tactic that has only succeeded twice in the salary-cap era. If they were to receive offer sheets it likely would’ve happened after the free-agent market opened on July 13 when most teams still had sufficient cap room.

Cap Friendly shows 13 teams already over the $82.5 million cap for the coming season with another 11 having less than $5 million in cap room. Only three teams – Anaheim Ducks, Buffalo Sabres and Arizona Coyotes – have sufficient cap space to make the type of competitive bids to successfully pry away Robertson or Oettinger. If either of those three clubs were going to make that move they would’ve done so by now.

I also don’t see any team making a robust trade offer for Robertson or Oettinger. I’m sure some general managers have called Stars GM Jim Nill to see if either guy is available but he’s probably not interested in their trade pitches. Both youngsters are already part of the Stars’ core and will take on bigger roles over the next couple of years.

The Stars have $10.3 million in cap space for 2022-23 and only Robertson and Oettinger to re-sign. They have the leverage to get those two youngsters under bridge contracts with the promise of more lucrative deals down the road, especially when aging Stars such as Jamie Benn ($9.5 million AAV) and Ryan Suter ($3.65 million) come off their books at the end of 2024-25.


  1. If some of these ridiculous contracts keep popping up before the start of 2100 4th liners’ll be making 10 mill a year!!! Think about it! pylons like Nick Foligno scoring two goals a year will be making exorbitant salaries. Foligno should be playing in the echl on the 4th line!

  2. If some of these ridiculous contracts keep popping up before the start of 2100 4th liners’ll be making 10 mill a year!!! Think about it! pylons like Nick Foligno scoring two goals a year will be making exorbitant salaries. Foligno should be playing in the echl on the 4th line! Bettman needs to be replaced and the cap need to go up by 5 mill.

    • I meant by yr 2025, not 2100

      • wait so first your complain about contracts .. then you want the cap to go up like that’s going to stop the GM’s (not bettman)

  3. Hmmmm, “Wing for life” Larkin is playing hard to get.

    • JZ
      Larkin has a liking to wear the spoked B 🤔

    • “Hmmmm, “Wing for life” Larkin is playing hard to get.”


  4. Robertson and Oettinger not going anywhere. Stars have 2 or 3 studs in the juniors and minors. Once we can shed the Benn, Suter, and Seguin contacts, we’ll be okay. Argh 2025. In the meantime, we’re paying Benn, 9.5 million to be a checking line center.

  5. They need to buy out Seguin and Benn or keep half and find a third team to even move them . They are high , way too high.
    Bite the bullet like the Wild did. You need good prospects to to that and they have a few of those .

    • A buyout of Benn or Seguin aint happening, it literally saves next to nothing in cap space. Benn’s hit on a buyout the next 3 yrs would be 8.8 mill, Seguin is even worse, it would save a few mill the first year (5.7 mill cap hit), but then the next 4 yrs would be 7.9, 7.9, 9.6, and 9.6 and then 5 more yrs at 853,000. There is no way to be competitive with that much dead cap space for mulitple years. A trade isn’t out of the question, but both players have full NMC, so it would be difficult. The Stars are realistically going to be stuck with both for awhile, at least Benn only has 3 years left on his deal and might be a tradeable asset in the last year. Best hope for the Stars is for a bounceback from Seguin to something close to what he was before.

  6. Larkin $9M?? Forget it 70pt guy. Max $7.5M.

    • That was Rick Murray’s point, Jeff. Kadri has one excellent season at 31 and gets paid 7 million/year for what, 7 years? Tkachuk gets 10.5 million after one exceptional season. From Larkin’s perspective, isn’t he worth somewhere around Tkachuk?

      It’s no epiphany to compare free agency to an auction, where overpaying in a bidding war is common. GMs do this every year and then find themselves both cap strapped and without a Cup.

      • Tkachuk’s contract is ridiculous.

        Over and over and over, good players are getting paid like great players, and great players are being paid like generational talents. Meanwhile, players like Tyler Motte are hanging around waiting for table scraps.

  7. Larkin not going anywhere. He’ll get 8 year deal for at least 8M per. Why leave after suffering through rebuild? Copp just signed there. Larkins former captain at UM. Team turning corner. Going back to yesterday….This would be a good landing spot for Chychrun as well.

    • Detroit, a rebuilding team, wouldn’t be a good landing spot for Chychrun if it cost Yzerman 2 1sts, a good roster player and a top prospect.

      • I agree George – don’t even think of it. Detroit’s system, recently rated #2 (behind Buffalo) has plenty of bonafide NHL potential LD’s – at least a half dozen. Why would they even think of going after Chychrun ?

      • LD has a solid future in Detroit. Need to trade a couple of them for center help and maybe a depth RD. But that is in the future. I still think Stevie would move some pieces for a top 6 guy, center or wing.
        Vegas’s Karlsson was at one time linked to Detroit. Would Vegas do a cap clearing move by trading for a cheaper center. I don’t see how he would come to Detroit with $5.9M x 5 left on his contract! There must be another top 6 guy that has to be cleared with less term.

  8. “No deal is done, suggesting Larkin’s agent and Red Wings general manager Steve Yzerman remain far apart.”

    There is NO info coming from Yzerman or from Larkin’s camp, so an assumption like this is ridiculous. They could be one crossed-T away from the signing being official for all we know.