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Cleary won’t attend Wings camp on PTO, talking to three other teams

Sep 6, 2013, 2:42 PM EDT

Daniel Cleary #11 of the Detroit Red Wings shoots during warmup before NHL action against the Toronto Maple Leafs at The Air Canada Centre January 7, 2012 in Toronto, Ontario, Canada.
(January 6, 2012 - Source: Abelimages/Getty Images North America) Getty Images

Dan Cleary’s eight-year run in Detroit looks like it’s coming to an end.

Cleary, 34, told the Red Wings’ website he wouldn’t attend training camp on a professional try out, opting to explore other options around the league.

“I want to stay in Detroit. I think I’ve made that pretty clear. I’ve been pretty patient,” Cleary explained. “I’ve had other opportunities to leave and just didn’t want to leave. I’ve just tried to wait as long as I could for Detroit to make the right moves, I guess.

“That’s all I can say right now.”

Cleary did add he’s been “talking to three other teams,” including one that’s emerged as a serious suitor.

Earlier this week, the Detroit Free Press reported Anaheim, Philadelphia and Pittsburgh had all expressed interest in Cleary, with the Penguins sending fellow Maritimer Sidney Crosby to make a pitch.

As mentioned above, Cleary has a standing offer from GM Ken Holland to head to Traverse City — the site of Detroit’s 2013 training camp — on a tryout basis.

The veteran winger, who joined the Red Wings after arriving on a camp PTO in 2005, says he wants something more secure.

“If I go to Traverse City it’s not going to be on a tryout like I did eight years ago,” Cleary explained. “Whether it’s signed or something agreed on it’ll be something.”

  1. westinpat - Sep 6, 2013 at 3:22 PM

    Was not surprised at all when I saw Philadelphia was interested in him.

    • ibieiniid - Sep 6, 2013 at 3:33 PM

      if the Flyers grabbed him, that’d be Read’s ticket out of town….. but I highly doubt they sign Cleary.

      • ibieiniid - Sep 6, 2013 at 3:34 PM

        well… maybe not, he could always take McGinn’s spot back i guess.

      • westinpat - Sep 6, 2013 at 6:29 PM

        I don’t see the Flyers giving up Read for nothing just because they signed Cleary. They’d need to find the right trade partner for him.

      • icelovinbrotha215 - Sep 6, 2013 at 7:15 PM

        I agree with the McGinn point. He is young enough to still room for development. And while he did impress, he didn’t blow anyone away when it came to expectations.

  2. jmcurran28 - Sep 6, 2013 at 5:23 PM

    No big surprise here. If he really wanted to be a Red Wing he would’ve signed a month or two ago. Cleary will be a good grinder for some other team. Maybe he can get Brunner a job.

    • enollatsknarf - Sep 6, 2013 at 5:43 PM

      The wings clearly don’t want him or they would’ve offered something better than a tryout….

      • hubeydubeydoo11 - Sep 7, 2013 at 12:36 PM

        The wings want him! they dont have the cap space to sign him! thats why there hasnt been a deal yet. Detroit was supposed to make a trade soon to free up space to fit at least cleary in and get rid of the extra forwards they have. It just hasnt happened yet and cleary has been very professional about the whole thing! wish he could remain a wing. Love seeing him play

  3. claudegirwho - Sep 6, 2013 at 5:27 PM

    He’s coming to the pens after we make a trade

  4. davidsmj22 - Sep 6, 2013 at 5:37 PM

    It hurts to think of Cleary being on a team like the pens.. If not Detroit then please at least sign with a respectable team.. Not one captained by Cindy

    • claudegirwho - Sep 6, 2013 at 6:51 PM


  5. jmcurran28 - Sep 6, 2013 at 5:46 PM

    I grew up 2 hours north of Pittsburgh, but am I die hard Red Wings fan, and I have no problem with him landing with the Pens. It’s not like I’m bitter with Cleary leaving, The Wings are really starting to solidify their bottom lines with some talented kids from Grand Rapids, and sooner or later Cleary would’ve become expendable.

  6. canadianguest - Sep 6, 2013 at 7:49 PM


    Detroit can’t sign him because of their cap space, they are currently 4th highest and overcap. Who are #1 and #3? Philadelphia and Pittsburgh. Are you sure Boston isn’t interested in him? They like defensive players and are the #2 highest cap team currently. Where do you get your rumors, anonymous hockey bloggers? Anaheim is currently #8, but at least they have cap space.

    • claudegirwho - Sep 6, 2013 at 8:31 PM

      Pens are looking to trade niskinen which would free up a couple million. Problem solved.

      • canadianguest - Sep 7, 2013 at 3:17 AM

        Yeah, I think each team has a plan to free money, so they can spend again. I was just pointing out the silliness of the situation. That one team saying they can’t sign a player because of their cap position, and then having that player pursued by 2 other teams in an even worse (current) cap position.

  7. letsgocaps88 - Sep 7, 2013 at 7:10 AM

    i feel bad for cleary this guy has been a solid piece on the red wings for a good bit. But “hockey is a business as they say”

    • polegojim - Sep 7, 2013 at 9:13 AM

      Yes, that’s the challenge.

      Cleary was important to last years Wings, but on a Cup ‘strong’ team, he’s a third or fourth liner.

      No disrepect, but that’s a fact.

  8. pavelfitzgerald - Sep 7, 2013 at 11:38 AM

    They can’t sign him because of the cap space but because they also have 14 forwards signed. Cleary’s waited all summer for them to fix the aituation & they haven’t.
    Did the Red Wings really expect him to come to camp on a tryout contract? That’s insulting & bush league

    • mizbinboston - Sep 8, 2013 at 12:31 PM

      Pavel, see the comment below. Wings gave him an offer before free agency started and he refused. If memory serves correct, he wanted a pretty long deal for his age (and his knees)–think it was around 5 years. Wings are offering him the camp try-out because they genuinely like him and would sign him if cap space were still available. It’s out of courtesy, not a bush league move. Cleary shot himself in the foot on this one.

  9. aerowings7 - Sep 7, 2013 at 1:59 PM

    I read that the Wings made an offer to Cleary before free agency even started. He’s got nobody to blame but himself for this situation

    • mizbinboston - Sep 8, 2013 at 12:25 PM

      You’re right, they did. Same as Brunner (who ought to fire his agent). When both refused,Kenny immediately moved on. We’ve got an entire forward logjam down in GR, so it’s not as though our hands are tied. Everyone likes Cleary–great guy, great team player–but he was given every opportunity to re-up and didn’t.
      Wish him nothing but the best.

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