Cleary leaving Red Wings, has a deal with Flyers

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Published on September 06, 2013

Daniel Cleary

Published on July 03, 2013

Danny Cleary (above) was set to meet with Detroit general manager Ken Holland Tuesday as the two sides look to see if they can work out a new contract before Cleary becomes an unrestricted free agent on Friday. — Associated Press file photo

Published on May 31, 2013

Detroit Red Wings’ forward Daniel Cleary, shown in this March 13, 2013 file photo, is one of four Red Wings’ forwards who are set to become unrestricted free agents on July 1, but Detroit general manager Ken Holland says he hopes to re-sign Cleary and the others before then. — Associated Press file photo

Published on January 07, 2013

After being a prominent member of the NHLPA for the Detroit Red Wings during NHL lockout negotiations,Riverhead, Harbour Grace native Danny Cleary was “excited” and “a little nervous” when news broke Sunday morning that the lockout had come to an end. — Photo by The Associated Press

Published on September 18, 2012

In this Oct. 22, 2011 file photo, Detroit Red Wings’ forward Daniel Cleary (11) controls the puck ahead of Washington Capitals’ defenceman Mike Green (52) as Capitals’ goalie Tomas Vokoun covers the net during their National Hockey League game in Washington. Cleary is still recovering from off-season knee surgery and on the Wings’ injured reserve lis, meaning he still draws a salary during the NHL lockout. — Associated Press file photo

Published on December 14, 2011

Dan Cleary scored twice in the Detroit Red Wings’ 4-1 win over Marc-Andre Fleury and the Penguins Tuesday in Pittsburgh. — Photo by The Associated Press

Published on May 11, 2011

Detroit Red Wings’ forward Dan Cleary goes for the net in front of San Jose Sharks goalie Antti Niemi (31)during Game 6 of their second-round NHL playoff series in Detroit on Tuesday night. — Photo by The Associated Press

Published on September 24, 2011

Six Newfoundland NHLers — (from left) Daniel Cleary of the Detroit Red Wings, Michael Ryder of the Dallas Stars, Ryane Clowe of the San Jose Sharks, Luke Adam of the Buffalo Sabres, Adam Pardy of the Dallas Stars, and Teddy Purcell of the Tampa Bay Lightning — pose for a photo on Signal Hill in St. John’s. Missing from photo is NHLer Colin Greening of the Ottawa Senators. The players signed their jerseys for auction by The Telegram with proceeds going to the Children’s Wish Foundation. — Photo by Joe Gibbons/The Telegram

Published on April 26, 2011

In this file photo, Detroit Red Wings' forward Dan Cleary (11) skates the puck up the ice as Chicago Blackhawks' defenceman Duncan Keith (2) chases him during an NHL game in Chicago. A Red Wings-Blackhawks second-round playoff series is no longer a possibility, so the next possible matchup for Detroit, which swept the Phoenix Coyotes in the opening round, will be against either San Jose or Nashville.

Published on June 05, 2008

Detroit Red Wings winger Tomas Holmstrom, left, of Sweden, celebrates a goal by the Red Wings' Brian Rafalski (not shown) on Pittsburgh Penguins goalie Marc-Andre Fleury, back right, during first period action in Game 6 of the Stanley Cup hockey finals in Pittsburgh, Wednesday, June 4, 2008. - Photo by The Associated Press

Published on June 05, 2008

Pittsburgh Penguins forward Marian Hossa (18), of Slovakia, shoots the puck over Detroit Red Wings goalie Chris Osgood (30) in the closing seconds of the third period in Game 6 of the Stanley Cup hockey finals in Pittsburgh, Wednesday, June 4, 2008. - Photo by The Associated Press

Reported to be for three years at $2.75 million annually

After playing eight seasons in Detroit and winning a Stanley Cup with the Red Wings in 2008, Daniel Cleary is on the move. The Detroit Free Press reported early Tuesday morning that Cleary has accepted a free-agent offer from the Philadelphia Flyers.

According to Helene St. James, who covers the Red Wings for the Free Press, the 34-year-old Cleary and Philadelphia have agreed to a three-year deal worth $2.75 million per season.  

St. James also said the contract included a no-trade clause. 

However, the deal cannot become official until the end of this month because the Flyers are already well over the National Hockey League salary cap and must make a move or moves to become cap-compliant before the 2013-14 NHL season begins in early October.  

Philadelphia is expected to eventually put vereran defenceman Chis Pronger on long-term injured reserve, giving the team nearly 5 million in salary-cap relief annually.  

Cleary has struggled with the decision over the last few days. The Riverhead, Harbour Grace native had made it clear his preference was to remain with Detroit, but also knew the Red Wings also had cap problems; they too were over the limit and unlike the Flyers, had less obvious methods that would allow them to sign Cleary and stay within the guidelines.

The Red Wings, especially head coach Mike Babcock, wanted Cleary back, as well. Detroit general manager Ken Holland had offered the veteran forward an opportunity to attend the Wings' upcoming training camp on a professional tryout deal, which would buy some time to allow Holland to solve the Cleary/cap conundrum. However, Cleary said he would not go to camp on an arrangement with no guarantees.

That left him considering outside offers, which Telegram Sports Editor Robin Short learned had come down to the Flyers and Florida Panthers.

Cleary and his agent kept talking to the Red Wings right up to Monday night, but opted to go with the Flyers' offer.

Ironically, according to the Free Press, Philadelphia's offer will likely see Cleary officially attending the Flyers' training camp on a professional tryout, the difference being he knows he'll be under contract - and the terms of that contract - when the season begins.

Cleary made $3 million last season in the last year of a five-year deal with Detroit. The Red Wings had made him a new contract offer before the free-agency period began July 5, but Cleary turned it down. Detroit them made a number of other moves, including signing forwards Daniel Alfredsson and Stephen Weiss.

Holland said he subsequently attempted to make a trade or trades that would address the Wings' salary-cap issues and abundance of contracted forwards, but was unsuccessful in that regard.

A first-round draft pick of the Chicago Blackhawks in 1997, Cleary has appeared in 860 NHL games with the Blackhawks, Edmonton Oilers, Phoenix Coyotes and the Red Wing, scoring 160 goals and adding 217 assists.

Cleary has suited up for more NHL games than any other player from Newfoundland and Labrador, and his 377 total points are the second among Newfoundland's NHLers, behind only Bonavsta's Michael Ryder, who has 431 in 677 games.

In 540 games with Detroit, Cleary scored 119 goals and added 146 assists. He also became known as a dependable two-way player who could be expected to capably check opposition offensive stars.

Cleary was seventh in Detroit scoring (nine goals, six assists) during the 2012-13 regular season, but was the Wings' second-leading score in the playoffs, with four goals and six assists.  

Organizations: Philadelphia Flyers, Red Wings, Detroit Free Press National Hockey League Florida Panthers Chicago Blachawks Edmonton Oilers Phoenix Coyotes

Geographic location: Detroit, Philadelphia, Newfoundland and Labrador

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Recent comments

  • Darrell
    September 10, 2013 - 18:26

    I lost total respect for Cleary when he came home two years ago and charged kids $500 to skate with him for a few minutes in his hockey school. Talk about giving back....yeah right.

  • Good decision
    September 10, 2013 - 14:04

    If they wanted him bad enough, they would make room. This could come back to haunt Detroit

    September 10, 2013 - 10:19

    Cleary said his would rather stay with Detroit. Well, I guess he loves the money more, otherwise he would still be with the Red Wings. It appears to me that his love of hockey has taken second place to his love of money.

  • Chris
    September 10, 2013 - 08:31

    A number of typos in the sports articles lately. At least three in this story alone. Get it together, folks!

  • Carter laing
    September 10, 2013 - 06:58

    This is a good move for Cleary, he tried to work with Detorit,but it could't happen. Its to bad that he left, he was not treated right in the end. The mistake was paying big money for Alfaerson. Cleary is a dependable player whi you can count on. He will play hard for his new team.