For a team with a patchwork of a defense corps, the news is a significant blow.

The Detroit Red Wings expect Danny DeKeyser to miss the rest of the season after undergoing back surgery on Tuesday. As recently as last week, there had been hope he would soon reappear in the lineup after getting hurt Oct. 22 in a game against Vancouver.

Instead, coach Jeff Blashill tried to put in perspective what DeKeyser’s continued absence means to the team.

“It has a huge impact on your team because he’s our top defenseman,” Blashill said. “I think he’s a super-underrated player in the league. I think he’s one of the better defenders in the league, one of the better guys at moving a puck and being efficient in the things that I think that the really good defensemen in the league do.