DETROIT >> Restricted free agent defenseman Danny DeKeyser continues to take part in informal on-ice workouts at Joe Louis Arena with teammates despite not appearing to be close to getting a new deal done.
There appears to be a huge gap between the sides according to Wings general manager Ken Holland.
“It takes two to make a deal,” Holland said during a phone interview as he prepares to watch the Wings’ prospects take part in a tournament in Traverse City. “We’ve had a number of productive conversations, but there’s none of late.”
The two sides have not spoken about a new deal in the last two weeks.
In 76 games, DeKeyser has four goals, 20 assists and is a plus-14.
The main sticking point according to Holland is finding “comparable” deals.
DeKeyser, who just completed his first full season in the NHL after the Wings beat out several teams to land the much-sought-after defenseman, made $925,000 a season on his two-year, entry-level deal.
“He doesn’t have a ton of experience,” Holland said. “We’ve explored lots of different options.”
The Wings offered DeKeyser, 24, a long-term deal back in June which his camp wasn’t receptive to.
Both sides would like more than a one-year deal.
“We’re still hopeful and optimistic that we can find a solution,” Holland continued. “Time off between talking could be good. It’s important to get a deal done that’s fair for the player and fair for the club.”
Training camp opens in Traverse City on Sept. 19.
DeKeyser, 24, is represented by Pat Morris, who’s the same agent that represents Kyle Quincey, who signed a two-deal this offseason worth $4.25 a season.
The deals aren’t comparable since Quincey was an unrestricted free agent. Morris also hasn’t tried to use Quincey’s deal as leverage in DeKeyser’s negotiations.
The Wings have just over $5 million in cap space left.