Danny DeKeyser has preached nothing but optimism this summer regarding a new deal with the Detroit Red Wings.
But on Wednesday, Ken Holland went in a slightly different direction.
“We had a number of productive talks until a couple of weeks ago,” the Red Wings GM told MLive. “It’s gone quiet the last couple of weeks.
“It’s gotten to a point where it’s difficult because there aren’t many comparables.”
That last bit shouldn’t come as a huge surprise, because DeKesyer’s situation is unique. After going undrafted, DeKeyser spent three years at Western Michigan before signing with Detroit as a free agent in 2013 — meaning he’s now 24, with just 76 games of NHL experience.
(Comparatively speaking, Jets d-man Zach Bogosian — who turned 24 in July — has 352 games under his belt.)
Despite the relatively small body of work, there’s no denying DeKeyser’s impact in Detroit. He’s the future of the team’s defense and his ’13-14 season — his first full NHL campaign — was a good one; he scored 23 points in 65 games while averaging 21:38 TOI per night, bumping that to 23 minutes per in an opening-round playoff loss to Boston.
Compounding the DeKeyser issue is Detroit’s current financial situation. The Wings are roughly $5 million away from the cap ceiling and still making overtures at Daniel Alfredsson to return for another season. It’s a balancing act Holland alluded to in speaking with MLive.
“It’s important to get a deal done that’s fair for the player and fair for the club,” he explained. “Hopefully it can get done before camp.”