College free agent Danny DeKeyser, a highly coveted defenseman whose career with Western Michigan University just came to a close, has signed with the Detroit Red Wings, according to the Detroit Free Press.
Danny DeKeyser’s agent, Don Meehan, said yesterday that the free agent would make his decision “by noon” on Friday. Noon Eastern Time came and went…and so did noon Central Time…and then even noon Mountain Time. It was beginning to look as if he wouldn’t announce anything at all today.
Detroit were one of five teams wooing DeKeyser. The list of other suitors included the Nashville Predators. The team sent a contingent earlier this week to Mississauga, Ontario, to meet with DeKeyser about signing with the Nashville Predators. Coach Barry Trotz skipped practice on Monday to join GM David Poile and assistant GM Paul Fenton in pitching the team to DeKeyser.
The Preds were never considered a favorite to land Danny DeKeyser. But they hoped their history developing defensemen like Shea Weber, Kimmo Timonen, Ryan Suter, Kevin Klein, and Dan Hamhuis would make a strong enough impression on the young blueliner for him to choose gold over red.
In the end it wasn’t to be. If there’s any silver lining here it’s that next season’s pending NHL realignment means the Predators won’t have to face DeKeyser six times a season anymore.