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Cleary doesn’t report to Flyers’ camp, will sign in Detroit

Sep 12, 2013, 9:45 AM EDT

Daniel Cleary #11 of the Detroit Red Wings skates past a sign of support displayed by two Detroit Red Wings fans prior to the start of the game against the Columbus Blue Jackets on March 9, 2013 at Nationwide Arena in Columbus, Ohio.
(March 8, 2013 - Source: Kirk Irwin/Getty Images North America) Getty Images

As recently as Wednesday, Flyers GM Paul Holmgren expected that Cleary would report to Philadelphia’s training camp. That hasn’t happened, according to CSN Philly.

Cleary had reportedly agreed to a three-year, $8.25 million deal, but cap issues prevented it from being made official until October. Consequently, Cleary agreed to attend the Flyers’ training camp on a profession tryout offer, although Holmgren insisted on Tuesday that Cleary hadn’t been guaranteed a contract.

A day later, word got out that Cleary might not participate in the Flyers’ camp after all and there were even reports that he was meeting with the Detroit Red Wings.

What happens next is up in the air. First off, the Red Wings don’t expect Cleary to participate in their camp today, according to the Detroit Free Press’ Helene St. James. However, it looks like Cleary’s preference is to sign with Detroit, based on a CBC report.

Even if that’s the case, joining the Red Wings might not be a simple matter. Detroit is already up against the cap and has 15 forwards signed to one-way contracts. All the same, Detroit Red Wings GM Ken Holland expects this matter to come to a conclusion in the next day or two,’s Ansar Khan reports.

What this doesn’t seem to be though is a matter of the NHL taking issue with Philadelphia’s actions. A CBC league source said that the NHL didn’t have a problem with Cleary joining the Flyers on a tryout basis until they were in a position to sign him to what seemed to be previously agreed upon terms.


According to Helene St. James of the Detroit Free Press, Cleary is flying to Traverse City and will sign with the Wings tonight.

  1. beelza - Sep 12, 2013 at 9:58 AM

    Looks like Mike Illitch wants Cleary to remain a detroit red wings player.

  2. phillyphanatic77 - Sep 12, 2013 at 9:59 AM

    Altho it isn’t a huge loss if Cleary decides to return to Detroit (as Gagne can easily fill his shoes), the way he went about this whole thing was pretty scummy. You sign your name, tell a club you’ll be joining them, then don’t show up bc you were just using them for leverage? Like Carchidi says, not cool. The worst part about it is that he apparently still hasn’t informed Holmgren that he’s not showing up. Not even a word to a team that was giving you a shot?

    At this point you gotta say good riddance. Good luck trying to beat out 15 other forwards in Detroit instead of taking an essentially guaranteed 3rd line winger job here. If he gets offered a PTO I bet he doesn’t even make the roster out there. There’s just too many young guys in front if him. Wouldn’t that be karma?

    • 3yardsandacloud - Sep 12, 2013 at 11:04 AM

      He didn’t sign his name. That is why he is free to go where ever he wants. Perhaps the Flyers weren’t clear with him about his status. He said 2 weeks ago he wouldn’t take a PTO with the WIngs, so the idea that he was going to take a PTO elsewhere seemed odd from the start.

      I’ll be interested to see what he signs for in Detroit and how Detroit is going to balance their roster. I can’t see him getting a deal the Flyers allegedly offered in Detroit. I think the whole situation is pretty odd. I’m not entirely sure you can lay the blame on Cleary, especially if Philly offered him that deal and then pulled it back

      • phillyphanatic77 - Sep 12, 2013 at 11:24 AM

        Actually, I believe, when a player is invited on a tryout he signs a professional tryout contract. Now that deal does not cover regular season games but he did in reality sign his name. It’s obviously not guaranteed which is why he could leave and sign with Detroit, it was just a dick thing to do, in my mind. I’d feel different if he actually informed the Flyers of his intentions not to show.

      • davebabychreturns - Sep 12, 2013 at 11:43 AM

        Players frequently sign PTOs and then go sign with another team that offers them a real, actual contract.

        It’s pretty commonplace and begrudging Cleary for it is ridiculous.

        The fact is the Flyers were lucky to have a player who is able to get a multi year deal out of an NHL team available for nothing but a try out, and they likely would have signed him long ago if not for their own contract situation (which is of their own making anyways).

      • phillyphanatic77 - Sep 12, 2013 at 11:57 AM

        Yes it is commonplace… but do the players tend to inform the GM of their intentions to do so? BC Paul Holmgren had no idea that Cleary wasn’t showing up. Cleary used the Flyers for leverage, not a crime, but atleast have the common courtesy to inform the Flyers that you’re changing your mind. Especially after it was announced that he had accepted a PTO here in Philly.

      • 3yardsandacloud - Sep 12, 2013 at 12:35 PM

        He might have been offered the PTO, but it doesn’t sound like he even signed that. It sounds like Cleary thought he was getting a firm contract from Philly, for much better money than Detroit btw, and then found out it was only a PTO and he backed out. I doubt Holmgren had no idea he wasn’t coming. I mean, the media isn’t told everything.

    • President Charles Logan - Sep 12, 2013 at 11:49 AM

      77 will you let it go already about gagne lol damn your’e obsessed

      • phillyphanatic77 - Sep 12, 2013 at 11:54 AM

        Haha I’m not obsessed with Gagne, I’m obsessed with the Flyers. But bringing Gagne in to fill the 3rd line hole left by Cleary is a legitimate discussion. I know you think he’s totally washed up but you also know I completely disagree. He’s not 2006 Gagne but he’s still a productive NHLer. He’s got above average speed, good scoring touch, and plays a solid two-way game. Plus he’s obviously familiar with the group of guys the Flyers have. If he signs for a deal similar to what Cleary got from Detroit then I’d be perfectly fine with it.

      • President Charles Logan - Sep 12, 2013 at 2:56 PM

        lol theres not one move your flyers make that you disagree with 77 , they could bring bill barber back out of retirement and you’d still be on board with that .
        face it the guy’s washed up .. he’s slow… use that spot (if there’s even another foreard spot to be had) on a younger hungrier guy that can develop for years to come. these re-treads never work out that well .

      • phillyphanatic77 - Sep 12, 2013 at 3:54 PM

        That ridiculous and untrue. I hated Upshall for Carcillo. Didn’t want Bryz for 9 years. I didn’t like the Mason trade, at first. Mark Streit was not the defender I wanted. Going back I didn’t wanna get rid of Lindros. I didn’t wanna trade Brindamour for Primeau. There have been plenty of moves through the years that I have disliked or disagreed with. However, for the most part, I do like the current roster.

        As I’ve said before, your assessment of Gagne shows me that you barely watched any Flyers games last season. He was one of the few players who gave a consistent performance while the team was collapsing. He has lost a step but he’s still above average when it comes to speed. In fact, I guarantee if Gagne returns this season (and stays healthy) he will net 12-18 goals playing on the 3rd line and occasional special teams duty. He’s not Knuble, he’s got something in the tank. Any regular Flyers observer would tell you the same.

      • President Charles Logan - Sep 12, 2013 at 6:21 PM

        my level headed non biased assessment of gagne is .. he hasent worth a shiit since the 3rd period game 7 PP goal he scored in the playoffs in boston a few years ago…. thats the facts jack. move on… get younger

  3. natlbnkilr - Sep 12, 2013 at 10:11 AM

    Anyone that’s met Cleary, knows he’s a Dick to the fans… Hopefully Karma gets him and he’s out of the NHL for good.

    • davebabychreturns - Sep 12, 2013 at 11:44 AM

      Nice. Guy negotiates with multiple teams, gets a deal from one, is apparently not polite to the public in general – here’s hoping for a career ending injury!

  4. faustandrew - Sep 12, 2013 at 10:30 AM

    Dan Cleary is a perfect example of a player who believes that he is worth more than market value. At his age and production, a million a half at most is what a GM should throw at him. With that being said, not only am I not surprised he used this Flyers deal to leverage a better offer with the Red Wings, I won’t be surprised when neither team decides to employ him for next season.

    I have heard hes a dick to fans as well so good riddance to a guy like this, I hope he ends up riding out his career for MODO or the KHL.

  5. philly4lyfe - Sep 12, 2013 at 10:39 AM

    good, I’d rather have more cap space available to sign hal gill anyway.

    • jimw81 - Sep 12, 2013 at 11:47 AM

      flyers are trading for defense man. they are not going to have this team going into the season.

    • President Charles Logan - Sep 12, 2013 at 11:50 AM

      exactly!! thats what they need defense not old washed up re-treads and ex redwings

  6. redwingsfan999 - Sep 12, 2013 at 10:45 AM

    Cleary is not as bad as everyone makes him out to be, he actually is a nice guy and respectful to the fans Im a little surprised to hear what he has done

  7. mcphillthy - Sep 12, 2013 at 10:49 AM

    YES!! I’m so glad we didn’t get stuck with garbage like this. I never wanted Cleary on this team and after seeing how he is I now detest this guy. But this is a good day for Philly. Gill and or Gagne can make the team now and I prefer both of those guys over Cleary. This is hateful but I hope he doewnt make the Detroit squad either and ends up in Calgary or the KHL or some place awful. I was not a fan of Cleary in Philly. All those Detroit people who laughed at us for signing him… To you I say HAHA! Enjoy having your garbage back at your door step.

    • polegojim - Sep 12, 2013 at 11:23 AM

      Garbage??? Way to stay classy McPhil… he’s an aged hockey player – not refuse.

      Detroit fans I know weren’t ‘laughing’ at you… we were surprised at the offer.

      PS – Grow up.

      • mcphillthy - Sep 12, 2013 at 11:30 AM

        The name is mcphillthy for a reason. And I am only using words that Detroit fans used to describe him the past few days. And I agree that for 3m a season he is definitely garbage. 2.8m for Cleary?! Lol. You are out of your mind, man. That’s garbage. Garbage.

      • polegojim - Sep 12, 2013 at 11:34 AM

        I’m not talking to Dan… I’m talking to you…

        Try 1.75… as well as reading before you post.

        That’s why the Red Wings are the Red Wings… and Philly is… well… Philly.

      • mcphillthy - Sep 12, 2013 at 11:54 AM

        Who else would you be talking to…? Lol.
        Anyway.. in case you missed it the Philadelphia flyers were reportedly going to pay him 2.8m per season for 3 years. Try to keep up with me here. That’s where the 2.8m came from. Lol
        Are you following the series of events so far? Is this too much for you? And again. . Cleary is garbage at 2.8m a season. 1.75 is more in line with what he is actually worth. And as I’ve said i would take Cleary around 1.5m per season.

  8. easton0911 - Sep 12, 2013 at 10:50 AM

    What a waste of money signing this guy. His knees are toast and he was invisible for the playoffs. Another “great” move by Holland and Co. Should of brought back Brunner instead.

    • imnotyourbuddyguy - Sep 12, 2013 at 11:02 AM

      14 games, 4 goals 6 assists in the playoffs last year.
      Yup invisible

      Another “Red Wing fan” who watches a grand total of 3 games including playoffs.

    • polegojim - Sep 12, 2013 at 11:27 AM

      Easton0911… Seriously???

      You actually posted CRITICISM of Ken Holland and the Red Wings personnel decisions???

      Over 20 years straight in the playoffs and 3 Stanley Cups under his watch.

      Holy FOOT IN MOUTH disease Batman… next time – just delete and save the embarrassment.

  9. jimw81 - Sep 12, 2013 at 10:52 AM

    why isnt the national writers beating over red wings and their cap situation now? I have to say this is one of the most unprofessional things i saw in hockey. even if flyers had a handshake agreement it’s unprofessional what occur and sends a pattern in the league that player can use one team just to get more money or stay with one team. if he was loyal to red wings entire time,he shouldn’t of wasted flyers time. i hope his agent gets blacklisted for this stunt.

    • curioustraveler13 - Sep 12, 2013 at 11:03 AM

      remember when the flyers signed both Jeff Carter and Mike Richards to long deals with NTC thrown, Then they got within 2 wins of the cups, and then they traded BOTH of them before that NTC kicked in so they didn’t have a say in it? Real professional over there. In that situation the flyers staff technically didn’t do any wrong, and in this situation the player didn’t technically do anything wrong. The staff looks after what’s in their best interest for the club and the player looks out for what is in his best interest. Don’t be a hypocrite who takes this situation personal. ITS A BUSINESS.

      • jimw81 - Sep 12, 2013 at 11:49 AM

        flyers had to no choice but to split them up and trade because of the media wtichhunt that was going on.

      • jimw81 - Sep 12, 2013 at 11:51 AM

        if he was loyal to red wings entire time,he shouldn’t of wasted flyers time.

      • curioustraveler13 - Sep 12, 2013 at 12:01 PM

        He didn’t waste their time. Its not like the flyers have a lot of cap space burning a whole in their pockets, and their trying to decide what free agents to chase. He simply chose to sign with Detroit over Philadelphia. No harm no foul.

      • mcphillthy - Sep 12, 2013 at 12:25 PM

        The carter and Richie trades were genious. Homer locked both players up long term which increased their value thru the roof. Homer had two underachieving frat boys on his hands. He flipped them both and got a massive pay off for two role players. Let’s be honest, Richie is a good player but he is not a leader. He is an excellent addition to a team but not the leader we all hoped he was. I was happy to see Richie win a cup but the team we had at the time was not going to be what we needed. It was good business by homer, as it was business with Cleary. I’m not made Cleary didn’t sign. I’m not even mad he didn’t show up. I’m relieved

  10. davebabychreturns - Sep 12, 2013 at 10:56 AM

    Funny to see Carchidi complaining. A player jerked the Flyers organization around (as opposed to what is good and true, the Flyers organization jerking players around), oh the humanity!

    • jimw81 - Sep 12, 2013 at 11:03 AM

      please tell me when flyers jerk a player around? if you bring up carter and richards. that was planned to get rid of them because they felt they couldnt win with them together because media witch hunt.

      • davebabychreturns - Sep 12, 2013 at 11:07 AM

        Oh come on.

        Three players (am I missing any) now have signed deals with the Flyers organization including No Trade Clauses, and a reasonable person can only assume that they did so assuming the Flyers organization would honour the spirit of those clauses and not invalidate them for the remainder of their contracts before they even kicked in.

        Personally I don’t begrudge the Flyers that – teams have to do everything they can within the limitations of the CBA to try to ice a winning roster.

        However, players also have to do the same thing – so if Danny Cleary was making overtures about signing a deal with the Flyers and then did not for his own gain, that is a player looking out for his best interest within the limitations of the CBA. (Even then Cleary’s public comments seemed to think he thought he had a deal on the table with the Flyers and would not be attending camp as an unsigned/uninsured player.)

        Pretty hypocritical to excuse one side for gaming the system and then whine about the other doing more or less the same thing.

      • curioustraveler13 - Sep 12, 2013 at 11:09 AM

        They used both their buyouts in a matter of seconds. Briere and Bryz.

      • jimw81 - Sep 12, 2013 at 11:30 AM

        Briere buyout was the hardest thing for them to do. they ask him several times during the season to lift NMC to make situation easier on bother sides and he refused because he loved playing in philly. they loved him. the fans loved him. city loved him. but they knew in on the ice,Briere was on the downspin on of his career.

        ask yourself this question why do retired players who played for flyers live in the philadelphia area?

      • curioustraveler13 - Sep 12, 2013 at 11:41 AM

        Ask yourself this. How many flyers actually finish their deals in Philadelphia to the length that the flyers originally signed them too? You act like your the only team who has players stay in their city after retiring. I can say the same thing about players staying in the city after retiring about my team too. Billy G, Mario, Brent Johnston, Kevin Stevens, Bob errey, the list goes on and on. Every team has players who live in the city they played for, that’s not that big of news.

      • davebabychreturns - Sep 12, 2013 at 11:51 AM

        jimw81, as has been mentioned lots of teams have alumni settle in the area.

        The Flyers have the added benefit of being a (usually) winning franchise with a strong history and now a boatload of cash, lots of jobs in the organization for former players who are interested, etc. etc.

        I’m not trying to say the Flyers are the laughingstock of the league or treat their players like slave labour or anything like that.

        I’m just saying it’s ironic to see complaining about a player using his rights within the CBA to take advantage of the Flyers interest in him for his own gain, when the Flyers on several notable occasions have taken advantage of the CBA at the expense of their own players for their own gain.

        Don’t be so defensive, the simple fact is that it’s a cutthroat league and the Flyers are one of the most frequent examples of that.. they’ve been spurned here and there’s not much wrong with it but it makes the moralizing from some beat reporter pretty tough to believe.

  11. dc0125 - Sep 12, 2013 at 1:17 PM

    Sam Carchidi is an idiot, Cleary was not using them, hes staying in Detroit because thats the team he has played for for years, thats where he wants to be and thats where his home is.He never wanted to go any where else, if the wings offered him a contract earlier he wouldnt of talked to Philly but they didnt and he didnt wanna be stuck not playing so he was running out of time.

    • phillyphanatic77 - Sep 12, 2013 at 3:58 PM

      Yeah but that’s not what happened. He leveraged the Flyers offer into an offer with the Wings. Nothing wrong with it, that’s business, but it’s also the reality of the situation.

  12. beelza - Sep 12, 2013 at 4:54 PM

    As a detroit fan, I wish he would’ve gone to Philly. Wings have great young talent that needs to be up from the Griffins. Sammy, Bertuzzi (Todd), Tootoo and others need to movce on.

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