The Detroit Red Wings have signed defenseman Danny DeKeyser to a massive six-year, $30 million contract extension. The deal will carry a $5 million annual average value.
The deal was made ahead of DeKeyser’s arbitration hearing, scheduled for Thursday.
DeKeyser is coming off his third straight 20-point season, scoring eight goals and 12 assists in 78 regular-season games. He finished second on the team in average time on ice (21:48) behind only Niklas Kronwall (22:01), according to Hockey Reference. DeKeyser, 26, has 14 goals and 75 points in 234 career regular-season games and two points in 19 career playoff games, all with Detroit.
DeKeyser is grateful for the security this long-term deal affords him, as he will be under contract with his hometown team through the 2021-2022 season.
“It’s a big deal for me, to be able to get some stability and be able to play in Detroit for the next six years, at least,” DeKeyser said in an interview with the Detroit Free Press. “It’s a place I like to play. My family is here. I don’t want to go anywhere else.”
DeKeyser, who signed with Detroit as an undrafted free agent in March 2013, is eager to continue his career with the Red Wings.
“I just want to improve year in and year out and be a steady defenseman,” DeKeyser said. “That’s really my game. I just try to move the puck well, play solid defensively, contribute some points or goals where I can. Just try to be a good team player and do things that help the team win.”
It’s likely that DeKeyser will become the new defensive workhorse for the Wings, as Kronwall’s age was more evident in his play last season.
Though DeKeyser’s point total was down last year compared to his career-high 31 points in 2014-2015, he did not see time on the power-play after averaging 1:19 on the man-advantage in 2014-2015. He believes he can improve his production, especially if he gets a chance on the power-play. Either way, however, he is determined to improve his game and help the team in any way he can.
“Whether I’m on [the power-play] or not it doesn’t matter,” he said. “I’m just going to do my role, five-on-five and penalty kill, and if I do get a chance on the power play I’m comfortable playing that as well.
“I don’t know if I’ll get to 40 or 45 points without playing the power play. But it’s a possibility, that’s for sure.”
Featured Image Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports