Mathieu Dandenault was drafted 49th overall in the 1994 NHL Entry Draft by the Detroit Red Wings from the Sherbrooke Faucons of the QMJHL. Prior to that, he played Junior A hockey with the Gloucester Rangers in the COJHL. In 1993-94, he joined Sherbrooke and scored 53 points as a rookie before leading the Faucons with 70 assists and 107 points in 1994-95.
Dandenault made his NHL debut during the 1995-96 season in a game against the Edmonton Oilers. That season, he played 34 games and had 12 points as the Red Wings won the Central Division title and the President's Trophy while suiting up four games with the team's AHL affiliate Adirondack.
In 1996-97, Dandenault played 65 games for the Wings and scored 12 points. The team had a tremendous playoff run, resulting in a Stanley Cup championship and in 1997-98, Dandenault helped the Red Wings win their second consecutive Stanley Cup, defeating the Washington Capitals.
A versatile player, Dandenault who had played all of his junior career as a forward came to the NHL with the same expectations, however, he has since been transformed to a solid defensive defenseman who his capable of jumping into the rush.
Dandenault has been fortunate to be surrounded with great players throughout the early stages of his career. Players like Yzerman, Federov, Shanahan, Lidstrom and Chelios to name a few most definetly eased Dandenault transition to the NHL.
In 2002, Dandenault captured his third Stanley Cup and in the spring of 2003 helped Canada capture Gold at the World Championships before opting to sign as a free agent with the Montreal Canadiens in the summer of 2005.