With the Toronto Maple Leafs struggling to start the year and Jake Muzzin already out due to injury, the team’s defensive depth is being tested. Today, the organization has brought in a veteran name to see if he has any game left. Danny DeKeyser has signed a professional tryout agreement with the AHL’s Toronto Marlies, giving him another chance to show what he can do.
DeKeyser was on a PTO with the Vancouver Canucks earlier this summer but failed to earn a contract at the end of camp. This deal with a minor league club likely isn’t what he was hoping for, though if there is an AHL club to go to, the Marlies would be near the top of the list. The Maple Leafs organization is more than willing to pay their minor leaguers handsomely, as you can see by the one-way deals that Kyle Clifford, Joey Anderson, Adam Gaudette, and the recently recalled Victor Mete and Wayne Simmonds are on this year.
If DeKeyser can show he still has some juice, an NHL deal would allow him to serve as extra depth in Toronto, something the team could quickly need. Muzzin is out indefinitely with a neck injury, Timothy Liljegren is still working his way back, Jordie Benn has only recently gotten back on the ice, and Carl Dahlstrom is probably going to miss the whole season. Not to mention Toronto has already lost to the teams that finished 32nd and 31st (Montreal and Arizona) last season.
It’s time to throw spaghetti against the wall and see if it sticks, meaning the 32-year-old should get a look. DeKeyser has played 547 regular season games in the league, though it has been years since he was the effective two-way force he entered as. Last season with the Detroit Red Wings (the only team he has ever played for), he registered 11 points in 59 games.