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Wings Encounter: Danny DeKeyser

by Bill Roose / Detroit Red Wings

DETROIT Danny DeKeyser was supposed to start the season this week with a new defensive partner. Unfortunately, the Red Wings’ 25-year-old blue liner will likely miss the first six or seven games of the regular season.

DeKeyser was expected to begin the season alongside offensive-minded Mike Green, who spent the past 10 seasons quarterbacking the power play for the Washington Capitals.

The DeKeyser-Green may be revisited once the Detroit native is healthy again. But for now let’s get to know more a little more about DeKeyser, who graduated from Warren (Mich.) De La Salle Collegiate before he played three seasons at Western Michigan University:

Danny DeKeyser

DANNY DeKEYSER

STATUS: The former undrafted free agent is in his third full season with the Red Wings. The defenseman is in the last year of a two-year contract. He can become a restricted free agent next summer.

DOB: Born on March 7, 1990, in Detroit, Mich.

FIRST HOCKEY MEMORY: “Probably just playing mini-mites in Mt. Clemens or St. Clair Shores. Those are probably my first years of playing that I remember. When I was younger I was probably one of the worst skaters on my team, even when I was 12 or 13 (years old).” DID THEY MAKE YOU PLAY GOALIE? “No, but sometimes I was fighting it out with the goalies for who was skating last.”

HOCKEY HEROES: “A lot of the older Red Wings, like Nick Lidstrom and Steve Yzerman and watching some of their Stanley Cup runs.”

LAST BOOK READ: “It was actually ‘All The Way’ by Jordin Tootoo. It was actually a really good book. I would definitely recommend it. I only played with him for a few months, so I didn’t know a whole lot about him, but in the book it goes a lot deeper into his hockey career and his life.”

CURRENT CAR: “A black 2011 Escalade.”

FIRST JOB: “I was a dishwasher at Club Capri in Algonac (Michigan). It didn’t really last too long.”

GREATEST SPORTS MOMENT: “Probably for me it was winning the CCHA championships” in 2012.

MOST PAINFUL MOMENT: “When I was younger, like 13 or 14 – I’m still a huge Lions fan – but back then every Sunday that they would lose I would get mad for like two days. You can ask my dad about that. I wasn’t pleasant to be around. I was so mad every time that they lost. I remember one time they were playing the Vikings and they needed an extra point to go into overtime, and they missed.”

FAVORITE ARENA: “I really like Lawson Ice Arena where we played in college. It’s a smaller building, but they had the student section all on one side and they would fill that up. It was really fun to play in.”

CLOSEST HOCKEY FRIENDS: “A lot of the guys in the locker room here, but a lot of my college buddies as well. Still very good friends with them.”

TOUGHEST COMPETITORS FACED: “Sidney Crosby. He’s just super competitive and strong, skates well and is smart. Just so strong on the puck.”

MOST MEMORABLE GOAL: “That’s an easy one. It’s my first NHL goal. The puck is hanging on a wall in my house.”

FUNNY HOCKEY MEMORY: “Probably just playing minor hockey, traveling around, playing hockey and staying in hotels. Just being kids and eating meals on the road.”

FAVORITE PLAYERS TO WATCH: “I like watching Duncan Keith. I think he’s a really good player. I’m always trying to watch other guys even in other games and learn certain stuff that they do.”

FAVORITE SPORT OUTSIDE HOCKEY: “I’d say basketball. I played a little bit growing up and I like to shoot hoops every once in a while.”

PERSONALITY QUALITIES ADMIRED IN OTHERS: “I would say honesty, and just being a good person, doing things right all of the time.”

FAVORITE MOVIE: “I don’t watch a lot of movies, but I’ll say the ‘Longest Yard’, the remake with Adam Sandler.”

IF NOT A HOCKEY PLAYER, WHAT: “Probably something in broadcasting. My major in school was communications, so it would be something in front of or behind the camera.”

HIDDEN TALENTS: “I got nothing for you.”

WHAT DO YOU HAVE TO HAVE: “I have to have my three-egg omelet every morning. Got to have that. I guess that started four or five years ago when I had to have breakfast every day.”

MOST ATHLETIC TEAMMATE: “I’d say probably Luke Glendening. It just seems like he can do everything: yoga, stands on his head.”

NICKNAME: “The guys here call me DK, but that’s pretty obvious. Other than that I don’t think I have too many nicknames. Pretty much DK or Double-A.”

PREFERRED JERSEY NUMBER: “It would probably be 5 because of Lidstrom. He was always my idol. I used to wear if it was available, if not I would have to pick something else.”

OFF DAYS: “Sleep in, wake up and have a good breakfast, three-egg omelet and a little bit of oatmeal, and then go out and run some errands.”

MOST FAMOUS PERSON IN PHONE: “I guess it would be Zetterberg.”

FIRST PURCHASE AFTER SIGNING CONTRACT: “My new car.”

GUILTY PLEASURES: “I love ice cream. I’m a big chocolate chip fan.”

ABSOLUTELY HAVE TO DO/HAVE BEFORE EVERY GAME: “My rituals before the game are pretty much the same. I warm up, stretching before the game is all the same. I’ll play soccer with the guys too.”

MORNING PERSON OR NIGHT OWL: “Morning person.”

IF YOU COULD BE SOMEONE’S TEAMMATE FOR A DAY, WHO: “Probably Lebron James just because I think it would be cool to see how he goes about his day. I just think he’s at a different level, I mean look, he switches teams and every team he goes to they’re going to the (NBA) Finals every year.”

GO BACK IN TIME MOMENT: “When I first committed to Western Michigan I had to make sure my ACT score was high enough. I was having trouble with that, so I took it two or three times. I pulled up the score on my computer and it was a pretty good day for me when I knew I was gonna be going to college that next fall.”

WHAT SCARES YOU: “I think what scares me is just getting old.”

MOST EMBARRASSING MOMENT: “It was my first NHL game in Colorado, and I put money on the board. Guys always put money on the board that goes to the team fund. So I went in my wallet and all I had was a hundred bucks, so I went up to the board and I put up a hundred bucks. I sat back down and looked around and Cleary was sitting in the stall and he goes, ‘Are you kidding me?’ So I quickly added a zero.”

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