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No hard feelings: Flyers GM doen’t feel used by Cleary

Sep 12, 2013, 1:48 PM EDT

Paul Holmgren AP

Dan Cleary is staying with the Detroit Red Wings, and that’s just fine with Philadelphia Flyers general manager Paul Holmgren.

“Dan was up front right from the get-go,” Holmgren said today, per NHL.com. “My first conversation was he loved Detroit, wanted it to work out there. … One of the things that makes him a good player is he’s a character guy. He had deep roots with the Detroit organization. I can’t fault him for that. I probably think more highly of him now than I did two days ago.”

Besides, there may be a bright side to Philadelphia’s failure to land the veteran forward, says Holmgren.

“We were kind of anxious to look at a few guys in that position anyway,” he said. “I don’t know if you want to call it a silver lining, but it’s really a good thing for us. Mike Raffl, a kid we signed, an Austrian kid who played in Sweden, we like. … [2012 first-round pick] Scott Laughton, who knows? There should be some competition for a couple spots up front.”

CSNPhilly.com has more on the whole Cleary saga (if you can actually handle any more on this story), plus a note on free-agent forward Simon Gagne, who Holmgren essentially rejected as an option for the Flyers.

“We kind of closed that off there a few days ago when we decided to make the commitment to Dan on a tryout,” Holmgren said. “I think right now we’ll probably just stick with who we got.”

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