Detroit Red Wings: 4 contracts that will not end fast enough

Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports
Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports /
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Detroit Red Wings
Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports /

Danny DeKeyser

It’s hard to believe the former Western Michigan Bronco is already 30-years old.  When the Detroit Red Wings landed the hometown free agent graduate, it was a move that was expected to bolster the blueline for years to come.

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The Red Wings needed a difference-maker to play alongside Niklas Kronwall and company.  Danny DeKeyser entered the league as a tremendous skating defender that regularly displayed excellent athleticism.

DeKeyser burst onto the scene averaging more than 21 minutes of ice-time per night.  It’s a significant amount for a 23-year old two-way defender.  DeKeyser had so much potential after his first full two NHL seasons.  Danny recorded 23 and 31 points respectfully in those two seasons’ but has yet to come close to reaching 30 points in any season since that 2014-15 campaign.

Leave it to Ken Holland to overreact and sign a trending player to a massive extension that will be difficult to live up to.  After posting 74 points in his first full three seasons, Holland rewarded DeKeyser with a six-year deal that averages $5 million per season.

Since signing that deal, DeKeyser has played 207 games over the four years, recording 48 total points.

The Detroit Red Wings certainly have room for DeKeyser moving forward, but having two more years remaining on his current deal and understanding his inability to stay healthy, it’s a contract that can’t end quick enough.

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DeKeyser will be 33-years old when he enters his next string of contract negotiations, and don’t expect Yzerman to offer more than two years.  But don’t be surprised the next wave of youthful defenders are NHL ready, leaving a player like Danny expendable.