Red Wings: Projecting the Defensive Pairings for 2021-22 Season

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After the extension of Marc Staal, the defensive pairings for the Detroit Red Wings’ upcoming season look locked in. Let’s look at the players that’ll make up Detroit’s blue line this year.

DeKeyser – Hronek


The top defensive pairing of Danny DeKeyser and Filip Hronek in Detroit next season shouldn’t really be a surprise, as they were at the top in 2020-21 as well.

31-years-old, at the end of his expensive ($5 million) contract and with the injuries piling up, DeKeyser might be entering his final season in Detroit. However, with the limited number of players on the left side of the defense, it seems as though DeKeyser will play a large role in what may be his final year wearing the winged wheel. With Marc Staal almost certainly tied to Troy Stecher and Nick Leddy to Moritz Seider, DeKeyser is the only real option left to slot in with Hronek at the top.

Hronek is essentially used to a top-pairing role with the team; he’s averaged over 23 minutes of ice time per game the past two seasons. While he didn’t necessarily flourish or develop in the role this season, Hronek did act as an important piece in game-deciding situations. He’ll be getting well over 20 minutes a night yet again this season.

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