Danny DeKeyser signs long term contract for a lot of money

When you think you have a number one defenseman in your system, you have to do anything you can to lock that player up long-term. Some teams try out bridge contracts and others try to play hardball on a long term contract. Today, the Red Wings signed Danny DeKeyser to a six-year deal worth 30 million dollars in total. What if the Red Wings just signed a player that may not be anything more than a bottom pairing defensemen?

It is tough to make a case for Dekeyser and his contract. For the better part of the summer, we all knew this contract was coming. We know that the Red Wings are big fans of the Michigan native and were willing to go all the way to show as much. Have they not learned from their own past though? DeKeyser isn’t an offensive dynamo and is already a possession black hole. This seems to be a Jonathan Ericsson redux. Let’s take a look at the numbers.

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His scoring is fine but it isn’t anywhere near the money he is commanding and the possession numbers should be a real concern to anyone following the team. The Red Wings used to be one of the best possession teams in the league and bit by bit they have stopped emphasizing this part of their game. They seem to be prioritizing some unknown set of numbers and that is fine as long as the team continues to perform. Who am I to argue as the team keeps making the playoffs and more recently only by the skin on their chinny chin chin.

Where do the Wings go from here regarding their cap? They have players they can put on LTIR but that doesn’t seem too savvy considering they aren’t really lined up to be a Stanley Cup contender. Are they really going to spend over the cap to only be a fringe playoff team? They still have to sign Petr Mrazek to a deal that should carry a hefty price tag. They keep digging themselves into a hole and don’t have a plan to get out.

Ken Holland has always been a wizard; getting himself out of situations that other GM’s dream about. He used to do a great job of avoiding these kind of messes but he only seems to be putting himself back into them. It is hard to estimate how long Holland will be around with the kind of deals that he keeps signing, it won’t be him to clean up the next set of messes, it’ll be his replacement if he isn’t careful. 

The defense he is constructing is aging and slow, it is the exact opposite of what the league has been moving towards. The first couple years of DeKeyser’s contract may end up fine, it is the last few years that I truly worry about. It is time to move towards the future and the Red Wings keep looking back towards the past.