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Family's all that matters at Christmas

DeKeyser looks forward to quality time with family members during the holiday season

Wednesday, 12.25.2013 / 12:00 AM ET / News
By Andrea Nelson  - Editorial Assistant | DetroitRedWings.com
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Family\'s all that matters at Christmas
Red Wings defenseman Danny DeKeyser is excited to spend the league's Christmas break with family like his young niece. (Photo courtesy of Twitter)

DETROIT – When asked about his favorite Christmas memory, Danny DeKeyser took a few seconds to ponder in his thoughts.

The moment that stood out the most may not be filled with presents, holiday cookies or Santa Claus, but it’s one many Detroit fans can relate to.

“I guess it’s not really a good memory but sometimes when the Lions are playing on Christmas Eve or on Christmas we’ll watch them and usually they’re done and out of the playoffs,” DeKeyser said. “But one year a long time ago they were playing the Bears and they lost on a last-second field goal of course to miss the playoffs.”

One of the defenseman’s teammates just happened to be eavesdropping.

“That’s your best Christmas memory?” Brendan Smith chimed in from a few seats down.

DeKeyser had to laugh. “I don’t know why that sticks out but that’s one of them that pops in my head.”

The youngest of seven children, DeKeyser will celebrate Christmas this year at his aunt and uncle’s house, spending time and reminiscing with an abundance of siblings, aunts, uncles and cousins. He wouldn’t have it any other way.

“There’s a ton of people,” DeKeyser said. “My dad has a big family and so does my mom, they both had a lot of kids in their families too so lot of aunts and uncles, a lot of cousins, it’s crazy.

“They (siblings) live around here so they’re here all the time, they come to games and that kind of thing and they’ll be at Christmas with the rest of the family and it’ll be good to see them.”

With three older brothers and three older sisters, the defenseman admits he was slightly doted on growing up, but there was one gift he always looked forward to finding under the Christmas tree.

“I always used to ask for sports video games so when I was younger I used to always get that, the newest NHL game or the newest NFL or NBA game,” he said. “I asked for those every year.”

This year, DeKeyser only asked for one thing: to spend the holiday with his family, the most important people in his life.

“I actually didn’t ask for anything just that I could see the family this year and that everybody would be around,” DeKeyser said. “We’re all older now and you know how that goes, everybody has jobs and that kind of thing where you’re working right up to the holidays a lot of times so hopefully I’ll just be able to see everybody.”

Even though there wasn’t anything on his Christmas list, the defenseman did receive an early present, as he returned to Detroit’s lineup Saturday against the Toronto Maple Leafs after missing 15 games with a separated shoulder. DeKeyser recorded one assist, two shots and one hit in the Red Wings’ 5-4 shootout victory, and couldn’t have imagined a better gift than to return to the game he loves.

“I don’t think I could, that’s a pretty good one right there,” he said, “and I’m excited to be back, I’m happy.”

It’s one more thing he has in common with Detroit fans: they’re happy to see him back on the ice, too.

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STANDINGS

EASTERN CONFERENCE
  TEAM GP W L OT GF GA PTS
1 WSH 49 36 9 4 161 110 76
2 FLA 51 31 15 5 141 112 67
3 TBL 51 29 18 4 137 118 62
4 NYR 51 28 18 5 146 132 61
5 BOS 51 27 18 6 149 136 60
6 NYI 49 26 17 6 134 121 58
7 DET 51 25 18 8 125 130 58
8 NJD 52 26 20 6 117 118 58
9 PIT 50 25 18 7 129 128 57
10 CAR 53 24 21 8 129 141 56
11 PHI 49 23 18 8 117 128 54
12 MTL 52 24 24 4 137 141 52
13 OTT 52 23 23 6 142 164 52
14 TOR 50 19 22 9 116 134 47
15 BUF 52 21 26 5 119 137 47
16 CBJ 54 21 28 5 135 168 47

STATS

2015-2016 REGULAR SEASON
SKATERS: GP G A +/- Pts
D. Larkin 50 17 18 23 35
H. Zetterberg 51 9 25 2 34
T. Tatar 50 14 16 -3 30
G. Nyquist 51 14 13 -4 27
J. Abdelkader 51 14 12 -4 26
P. Datsyuk 36 6 18 10 24
M. Green 45 3 17 -8 20
N. Kronwall 45 3 14 -10 17
D. DeKeyser 47 6 8 10 14
R. Sheahan 50 7 6 -15 13
 
GOALIES: W L OT Sv% GAA
P. Mrazek 18 10 4 .931 2.06
J. Howard 7 8 4 .904 2.89