Today, the Detroit Red Wings placed veteran defenseman Danny DeKeyser on waivers. It was DeKeyser’s 32nd birthday. The Red Wings required a roster spot after claiming Olli Juolevi off waivers yesterday. Jakub Vrana will also take up a roster spot as early as tomorrow.
Last February, DeKeyser went unclaimed when he was placed on waivers. The difference this time is that there are not any taxi squads to place DeKeyser this year. If unclaimed, DeKeyser will likely be sent to Grand Rapids (AHL) where he can tutor some of the upcoming Red Wings defense prospects.
DeKeyser carries a cap hit of $5M annually and is set to become an UFA at the end of the season. Speculation has surrounded DeKeyser for most of the season that he will not be extended a contract after this season.
This season has been a difficult one for the current Red Wings alternate captain. In 43 games, DeKeyser only has six assists and a -12 rating.
A back injury that required surgery has slowed DeKeyser considerably during the past two seasons. Last year, DeKeyser was placed on waivers twice and was a healthy scratch several times during the season.
Following three seasons at Western Michigan (NCAA), DeKeyser originally signed with Detroit as an undrafted free agent. Following his junior season of college hockey, DeKeyser made his NHL debut in 2013.
DeKeyser has been a member of the Red Wings for parts of 10 NHL seasons. His best statistical season ocurred in 2014-15 when he had 31 points, and a +11 rating in 80 games.
In 531 regular season NHL games, DeKeyser scored 33 goals, 108 assists, 141 points, and an even +/- rating.