Flyers lose out on DeKeyser

Western Michigan defenseman Dan DeKeyser (5) holds the Mason Cup after defeating Michigan in a CCHA college hockey game in Detroit, Saturday, March 17, 2012. (AP Photo/Carlos Osorio)

In the end, the lure of the hometown winged wheel was too sweet.

Undrafted free agent defenseman Dan DeKeyser, who decided to not return to Western Michigan for his senior season, has agreed to terms with the Detroit Red Wings, according to multiple reports.

The Flyers were seriously interested in adding DeKeyser. Chairman Ed Snider was among the Flyers’ brass to personally pitch Philadelphia to the Detroit native on Wednesday at an hour-long meeting in Toronto. The last free agent Snider personally persued was goaltender Ilya Bryzgalov in 2011.

As far as entry-level contracts go, almost every team in the DeKeyser sweeptstakes was on an even playing field, since there is a maximum salary of $925,000. Performance-based bonuses could have pushed the figure even higher than that.

DeKeyser, 23, was publicly linked to Detroit, Edmonton, Philadelphia, Tampa Bay, St. Louis, Nashville and many others. Nearly all 30 teams made some kind of inquiry to Newport Sports Group agent Don Meehan about his client. DeKeyser is a mature, 6-foot-3 agile puck mover.

The Flyers had been pursuing DeKeyser since at least last spring, when he flirted with a decision of possibly leaving school after only two seasons. Even in a down season, when the Flyers likely offered an immediate spot in their battered NHL lineup, it wasn’t enough to sway DeKeyser away from the Wings.

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