A fixture on the blueline for the Detroit Red Wings since the 2012-13 NHL Season may very possibly have appeared in his final NHL game.
Veteran defenseman Danny DeKeyser, who has appeared in 531 career NHL games with the Red Wings since signing as a free agent after his collegiate career at Western Michigan, was waived by the team yesterday afternoon. The harsh reality of the business of dealings in the National Hockey League was also evident considering that yesterday also happened to be DeKeyser’s birthday.
“I don’t think anybody likes getting waived,” explained head coach Jeff Blashill. “Ultimately we’re in a business where you have to make hard business decisions and that one was made.”
Of course, DeKeyser was made further expendable by the arrival of Olli Juolevi, who the Red Wings claimed off the waiver wire from the Florida Panthers.
“Danny has been an excellent pro,” Blashill said. “He has done an excellent job for the Detroit Red Wings over a long period of time. Very, very underrated within our fan base on the impact he’s had here.
“He’s worked extraordinarily hard at trying to get his back to a spot where he can be playing to the level he was prior to that. He’s in the weight room longer than anybody. I’ve got enormous respect for Danny as a person, as a player.”
As expected, DeKeyser went unclaimed on waivers and can be assigned to Detroit’s AHL affiliate in Grand Rapids. He can also choose not to report, meaning that his professional career very well could be over.
The Michigan native attended Western Michigan University, where he played hockey for the Broncos for three years. He then garnered interest from several NHL clubs before deciding to sign with his hometown Red Wings, making his NHL debut during the 2012-13 lockout-shortened season before ultimately being ruled out of the Stanley Cup Playoffs thanks to an injury.
– – Quotes via The Detroit Free Press Link – –