The Detroit Red Wings’ season isn’t going well, and it’s getting even worse. Head coach Jeff Blashill told reporters including Helene St. James of the Detroit Free Press that Danny DeKeyser is going to have back surgery and could miss the rest of the season. DeKeyser has already been out since October 22nd, with only eight games played.
While the Red Wings are obviously looking forward to the draft lottery already, they also need to ice a team each night and losing an entire season does nothing to help the value of an asset. DeKeyser, 29, was still that despite a contract that stretches through the 2021-22 season and carries a cap hit of $5MM.
The left-handed defenseman has dealt with injuries in each of the previous two seasons, but still logged more than 20 minutes a night for the Red Wings whenever he was in the lineup. That kind of stable, two-way presence is still valuable around the league, but he would obviously have to be healthy enough to contribute in order for anyone to be after him.
In his absence, the Red Wings have tried giving younger players more responsibility but many have struggled to make a big impact. Hopefully DeKeyser will be able to return in the future, but for now it looks like the blue line in Detroit is wide open.