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Abel to Yzerman

Danny DeKeyser Understands He Has To Earn His Spot In The Lineup

from Ansar Khan of Mlive,

Danny DeKeyser was a healthy scratch for the first time in his nine seasons as a Detroit Red Wing, and that was difficult to accept.

Technically, he wasn’t completely healthy, and he still isn’t, after having back surgery 14 months ago....

“The discussion was to give me a little bit of time off and use that time to hit hard in the weight room and try to improve as much as possible in that time frame,” DeKeyser said. “I know I have to be playing well to stay in the lineup. I wasn’t asking for any free passes. I know the reality; if guys are playing better, then that’s how it is.”

DeKeyser returned to action in Saturday’s 2-1 victory over Florida and will be in the lineup again tonight against Nashville at Little Caesars Arena (7:30, Fox Sports Detroit).

DeKeyser essentially lost his spot to Christian Djoos. A short-term injury to Troy Stecher created an opportunity for DeKeyser to return. Moving forward, DeKeyser’s performance and health will determine whether he plays, Blashill said.

“As he gets challenged more and more, we’ll get to see how his body is responding,” Blashill said. “If we think his body is responding to a point where it puts him in our top six, then he’ll play. If it’s something where he’s still not close to 100 percent and there’s six guys ahead of him, then we’ll do what we did for a bit (sit him) and he’ll keep trying to get stronger with it. When Danny is healthy, he’s one of our best defensemen, but he’s not 100 percent right now.”

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Steeb's avatar

Does he, tho? He’s a highly paid vet. That’s usually enough for Blash. Just don’t go scoring a Gordie Hat Trick, or he’ll be in GR by the weekend!

Posted by Steeb on 02/23/21 at 03:18 PM ET

Paul's avatar

Goaltender Kaden Fulcher assigned to the taxi squad by the Wings.

Posted by Paul from Motown Area on 02/23/21 at 06:02 PM ET

damndog revenge   From the bowels of Detroit's avatar

Push DD to he breaks completely. That’s understandable. If he is not 100% why is he out there in the first place? Because of his contract? Or he really is 100% and not the 100% he was prior to the back injury/surgery? If he is not 100% physically, then he should not be playing for his long term health and life management.

Posted by damndog revenge From the bowels of Detroit on 02/23/21 at 06:40 PM ET


I find this “injured but not injured” stuff confusing from
the outside, too, DD.

How if he is supposed to seriously hit the weights
and have time to strengthen and recover do they put him
right back in as soon as Stecher is hurt?

It is worrisome re: his long-term health and or ability
to play beyond this bizarro season.

Where are these decisions coming from?
Front office, team doctors, coach, player and agent
all think this is merely a lineup decision with a player who is just
“not 100%”? And yet it’s a back and leg (nerve?) issue stemming from
a very serious injury?

Having a guy currently presented as if he’s a 5/6/7 D who is
in or out of the lineup based on the quality of his play and who else is
injured - during the midst of a regular season in which his team has no chance
of making the playoffs and there is nothing really to be gained is just weird.
It’s not even like it’s his UFA Summer coming up and he’s desperate to prove he can
still play. If he’s one of the best D when he’s totally healthy but he’s a scratch behind an highly underwhelming D corps when he’s not 100%, wouldn’t it be better for player and team to rest and rehab him and let him get to 100% later if he still can?

I’m sure we’re missing a lot as fans but this does not make sense based on the info presented.

Posted by lefty.30 on 02/23/21 at 07:09 PM ET


Count me among the confused.  If he’s got nerve issues in his back and leg, then why isn’t he on LTIR? Blashill said he was playing on one leg, how do they justify putting him on the ice? I had a similar injury (a pinched nerve that left one leg with almost no strength) when I was in my late 20’s and when I tried to play through it, it only made it worse. it’s part of the hockey culture that we try to play through the pain to show how much we love the game even if it isn’t in our long term best interests, which is why the decision should be made by the medical staff. Did the Red Wings hire Dr Hibbard and Dr Nick in the offseason and I missed the press release? Something about the whole situation doesn’t add up for me, hopefully new information will eventually come to light that helps the whole thing make a little more sense to my monkey brain.

Posted by MikeO on 02/23/21 at 09:23 PM ET

MurrayChadwick's avatar

Remember when Yzerman played on one leg?
Remember when Zetterberg played with a bad back, had surgery and came back 3 months later
Remember when Lidstrom played with broken ribs?
Remember when we had a defensemen who had no sight in one eye?

NHL Players play hurt, that’s what they do, you guys are over thinking this.  No team can just force a player on IR, that’s not how this works. If it were that easy, teams could just force unproductive and overcompensated players on IR for cuts and bruises.  The team’s physician has to sign off on anyone hitting the ice, some things they can not do like concussions and such, other things the risk is presented to the player and they make that decision.

The injury must not be to a level that by playing DDK is not putting himself at more risk, and if so, its not to a high level of severity and he’s deciding to continue at his own risk. 


Posted by MurrayChadwick from YzerHolland2.0's pixie dust fueled bandwagon on 02/24/21 at 08:27 AM ET

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Welcome to Abel to Yzerman, a Red Wing blog since 1977.  No other site on the internet has better-researched, fact-laden and better prepared discussions than A2Y.  Re-phrase: we do little research, find facts and stats highly overrated and claim little to no preparation.  There are 19 readers of A2Y. No more, no less. All of them, except maybe one, are juvenile in nature.  Reminding them of that in the comment section will only encourage them to prove that. Your suggestions and critiques are welcome: wphoulihan@gmail.com