Larkin, to me and likely to a few of you, was an enigma. Under Babcock and Holland, young players just didn’t always get treated according to their talents. Sitting Jurco for a year, Tatar being “over ripened” in my opinion. Babcock would say, “tie goes to the veteran”.
If you watch this episode, Ken Kal nicely says that Larkin was put in “difficult situations” to see how he performed. In other words, in my opinion, the thought was to send him to GR as he turned pro. This got turned on its head a bit. Zetterberg now famously sat down with Babcock and Holland and said the team was better with Larkin now, at 19.
The organization was depleting and when Yzerman came in his first pick (who got to wear 19 on his draft jersey, still pretty cool) Moritz Seider climbed the ladder quickly. Lucas Raymond was also allowed to jump ahead. Edvinsson will be relatively young as he will get at least a look for next year. At the same time prospects from the 2018 draft are getting depth roles. The organization wanted to push Mantha ahead, it just didn’t work out. Larkin really does symbolize the dream. Drafted by your home town team, wearing the “C”, what kids dream about. I don’t know what it’s like to have 20k or so go crazy when you do something impressive. It has to be something akin to being a real life super hero.
I do think this is a player who cares, and who will sacrifice. It’s hard, but I will still put in the DVDs at times for Yzerman’s 3 cups as a player. Watching what he put himself through to be on the ice. It must have been a thrill to have him as a GM trust Larkin to be the face of the franchise as it rebuilds. Hard times behind, hard times ahead, and a lot of responsibility outside of the rink. I still enjoy the story and hope you do as well. This was well done by Detroit and a fun watch.