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Wings to begin talks with DeKeyser, Sheahan, Tatar

Jun 24, 2014, 11:58 AM EDT

dekeysergetty Getty Images

Contract negotiations are soon to begin for three of Detroit’s key restricted free agents.

GM Ken Holland is planning to speak with the agents for defenseman Danny DeKeyser and forwards Riley Sheahan and Tomas Tatar at this week’s NHL Entry Draft in Philadelphia, per MLive. The news comes just shortly after reports surfaced that Daniel Alfredsson is interested in returning next season, meaning Holland might need to work quickly in order to get his financials in place.

It’s already been a fairly busy offseason for the Wings. They used a compliance buyout on Jordin Tootoo’s contract, announced they wouldn’t be bringing back veterans Todd Bertuzzi and Mikael Samuelsson, and inked backup goalie Jonas Gustavsson to a one-year extension.

Now, there are deals to be made with a trio of young talents.

The most pressing is DeKeyser, the 24-year-old rearguard that blossomed in his second professional season. Despite missing significant time with a separated shoulder, he racked up 23 points in 65 games while averaging 21:38 TOI — technically considered a rookie this year, DeKeyser finished second among all freshman D in minutes per game (only Winnipeg’s Jacob Trouba played more.)

DeKeyser’s first NHL contract was a two-year, $2.7 million pact, so it’ll be interesting to see what kind of bump he gets on his new one.

As for Tatar and Sheahan, they’re both coming off solid efforts in the last of their three-year entry-level deals. Sheahan turned into an everyday player for Detroit halfway through the season and finished with 24 points in 42 games, while Tatar posted career highs across the board in games played (73), goals (19) points (39) and TOI (14:21).

One thing to keep an eye on is how long it takes Holland to actually finalize deals for his RFAs. Talks are starting early but, traditionally, Detroit has let these types of negotiations linger well into the summer — last offseason, Joakim Andersson and Gustav Nyquist weren’t signed until mid-August.

  1. kfraser91 - Jun 24, 2014 at 12:29 PM

    Wings gotta sign all three. Sheahan is a way better version of Joakim Andersson which could free him (andersson) up as a trade piece down the road.

    • redwings1977 - Jun 24, 2014 at 1:08 PM

      Agreed. I’m starting to get excited for the season, but damn I wish they would’ve bought out Franzen!

      • kfraser91 - Jun 24, 2014 at 1:58 PM

        The thing with Franzen is as much as I (and all wings fans im sure) can not stand his terribly inconsistent and lazy play, $5M isnt TERRIBLE for a guy who is going to put up 20-25G/year. The worst part is watching him do it in 20 games and then go -20 in the other 62. Hopefully he can have a solid year this year and with his contract being front ended maybe someone will take him off our hands for the rest of the decade hes signed for lol.

        The fact that they still call that bum the mule is ridiculous.

      • hockeydon10 - Jun 24, 2014 at 10:59 PM


        Good thing his cap hit is no where near $5M. It’s $3.95M.

      • timmmah10 - Jun 26, 2014 at 9:23 AM

        ^^ Exactly, I hate Franzen’s effort, but for 3.95, that’s not the worst contract ever. Jesus, just look at what Ryan Callahan cost, and he’s not even that good!

  2. pavelfitzgerald - Jun 24, 2014 at 1:24 PM

    Will Sheahan have a “no getting super drunk” clause in his contract?

    • anthj99 - Jun 24, 2014 at 2:35 PM

      Let’s hope the teletubby costume squeaks under the radar because banning that is a deal breaker for me.

  3. pjblake2redwings - Jun 24, 2014 at 2:55 PM

    If we can’t sign a big right handed shot Dman during FA I could see Tatar, Joakim Andersson, or Jurco being part of some trade for a top D man to go with Kronwall. Hope Tatar isnt the one they send away tho, but I wouldnt be that upset seeing Jurco and Andersson being shipped off for a good return

    • timmmah10 - Jun 26, 2014 at 9:26 AM

      Jurco is one of the only young guys up front with real size to go along with the talent… I’d be sad to see him go.

      We HAVE to sign a legit defenseman this offeseason. There’s not ifs ands or buts about it.

  4. stixzidinia - Jun 24, 2014 at 2:58 PM

    Methinks DeKeyser’s side of the contract discussions were delivered with a voice a bit higher in pitch after the Lucic treatment a couple months ago.

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