At a glance, the blade is quite nice. Considering it had a gakumei that has been struck, likely scenario is that it was submitted for the maker of note on it, bounced as gimei, gakumei erased, re-submitted for attribution and then left at hozon. As has been discussed many times in the past, many owners/collectors in Japan (and some outside also) don't concern themselves with anything higher than Hozon as chasing tiers is not their objective.
The attribution of "Den" (伝), also as referenced in this thread, is not necessarily a diminishing statement and can be in some cases a note of enthusiasm for a piece. Indeed for some makers, such as Go Yoshihiro where there are no known signed examples in the extant body of works, it can be a matter of policy to include den in the attribution and/or elevation. "Den" can be a large colorful signpost sometimes, partcularly in the Tokuju tier works where a remarkably good Shizu ascribed as "den", might have been attributed to Masamune back in the olden days. They can be that good, or [humble opinion switched on] better. All Tokuju arrive from lower tiers also, so looking at the quality and not the teir should be the focus.