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Do You Want Dan Cleary Back?

from Helene St. James of the Detroit Free Press,

Will Daniel Cleary be back for an encore with the Red Wings?

Talks to that end will heat up in the coming days, about three weeks ahead of July 5, when Cleary can become an unrestricted free agent. The Wings want Cleary back, and Cleary has said he wants to come back, but given the money that gets thrown around every summer once the market opens, Cleary may well opt to look around.

He’s coming off a five-year, $14 million contract, and made a solid case for his value in the playoffs, when he finished second on the team with 10 points, ahead of Pavel Datsyuk.

On top of that, Cleary was the leading scorer in the Blackhawks series, with five points. He’s 34, healthier than he has been in years, and a big body who repeatedly has demonstrated a willingness to go to the hard areas.

All those are reasons why the Wings want him back, of course. They need a big man to provide a net-front presence on each of the top two lines. Justin Abdelkader showed he could be one of them this past season. It’s not a role that Johan Franzen performs well. Todd Bertuzzi is an option, but it’s hard miles on the body, and Bertuzzi is 38 and has a history of back problems.


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John W.'s avatar

You know you’ve got a problem when a broken finger and separated shoulder is “healthier than he has been in years.”

Posted by John W. from a bubble wrap cocoon on 06/15/13 at 05:44 PM ET

Red Winger's avatar

Do You Want Dan Cleary Back?


Posted by Red Winger from Sault Ste Marie, MI on 06/15/13 at 06:07 PM ET

OnlyWings's avatar

If it came down to Cleary or Brunner, Brunner is my choice.

Can Cleary’s body take another year (82Games +) ?? I don’t think so, JMO

Posted by OnlyWings on 06/15/13 at 06:08 PM ET

Son of Flying Pig's avatar

On a 1-year contract for under $2.5M?  Sure, sign him yesterday.

Posted by Son of Flying Pig on 06/15/13 at 06:32 PM ET


Regular season Cleary?  No thanks.

Playoff time Cleary?  Yes.  Give me 2 of those Newfies.

Anyone still think Sammy isn’t getting a buyout?  That roster limit is looking evil already.

Posted by maltby18 on 06/15/13 at 06:36 PM ET


Do You Want Dan Cleary Back?


This.  Not at all.  Not for league minimum.  Not if Calgary signed him for league minimum ande traded him back to Detroit for nothing while agreeing to pay half his salary.

Posted by Garth on 06/15/13 at 06:53 PM ET


Anyone still think Sammy isn’t getting a buyout?  That roster limit is looking evil already.


Emmerton and Eaves and Tootoo are all far more likely to be bought out than Sammy, who’s only under contract for next year anyway and would be a tradeable asset in any case, anyway.  And it’s not exactly a sure thing Helm will either be back by the start of next year or healthy throughout it.  Or that Bert will be.  Or that even Sammy will be.

I’d love to have Cleary back at, say, Abby’s salary.  ~2 mil, likely a bit less, for 1 or 2 years tops.

Posted by HockeyinHD on 06/15/13 at 07:24 PM ET

MsRedWingFan's avatar

I’d rather go with the younger guys. He served the Wings well but I think his time is up ....  Sammy & Flip can go for sure

Posted by MsRedWingFan from West Michgian on 06/15/13 at 07:34 PM ET


No. Not because I don’t appreciate him, and not because his salary demands will be too high either. The roster spot is just too valuable. He’s been declining in health and production for years now, I’d much rather have that space for signing a Bickell or Horton or Clarkson…even if we don’t manage to land someone like that in free agency, I’d rather have the roster spot for Eaves, Emmerton, Tatar, Nyquist, Andersson, take your pick. But the roster spot is too valuable to spend on a guy like Cleary at this point when you can make a physical upgrade.

Posted by Marisabel on 06/15/13 at 08:37 PM ET

Figaro's avatar

Regular season Cleary?  No thanks.

Playoff time Cleary?  Yes.  Give me 2 of those Newfies.

Beat me to it.  Danny was strong in the play-offs, but abysmal in the regular season.  As useful as he is in May, I don’t want dead-weight in the line-up October-April.  And who is to say that whomever takes his spot won’t also be a play-off performer? 

I love Danny Cleary and am very thankful for all the good years he gave us, but it’s probably time to let some more functional legs on the ice.

Posted by Figaro from Los Alamos, NM on 06/16/13 at 10:10 AM ET

Crater's avatar

As others have said. Like Clears.. but not what he does in that roster spot vs giving it to someone, anyone, else.

Posted by Crater from SoCal on 06/17/13 at 12:45 PM ET

Nathan's avatar

I want him back, and two of Bertuzzi, Samuelsson, and Tootoo gone on buyouts.

Posted by Nathan from the scoresheet! on 06/17/13 at 02:00 PM ET

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The Malik Report is a destination for all things Red Wings-related. I offer biased, perhaps unprofessional-at-times and verbose coverage of my favorite team, their prospects and developmental affiliates. I've joined the Kukla's Korner family with five years of blogging under my belt, and I hope you'll find almost everything you need to follow your Red Wings at a place where all opinions are created equal and we're all friends, talking about hockey and the team we love to follow.