The Malik Report
by George Malik on 09/05/13 at 09:04 AM ET
The Detroit Free Press's Helene St. James delivers some absolutely baffling news given the Red Wings' roster crunch and salary cap issues, stating that Daniel Cleary's going to start skating with the Wings today, and that the Wings are still interested in somehow bringing Cleary back into the fold:
Cleary ultimately decided he wants to stay in Detroit, and the Wings do want him back. He was their second-leading scorer in the playoffs, with 10 points in 14 games, leading the team with five points in the second-round series against Chicago.
The Wings already have 16 forwards under contract for next season and plan to carry 14. However, there are several unknowns, starting with the health of Darren Helm and Mikael Samuelsson. Both missed almost all of last season, and Helm said earlier this week he isn't yet pain-free and doesn't know whether he'll be able to take part in scrimmages when camp begins in one week. Samuelsson said he's healthy, but will he stay so?
For now, Cleary will skate with the Wings at the Joe. General manager Ken Holland told the Free Press Cleary is welcome in Traverse City on a PTO. Players, meanwhile, are banking that Cleary soon will be a teammate again.
"I'm hoping he comes back," defenseman Niklas Kronwall said. "I think it will happen."
Since joining the Wings on a tryout in 2005, Cleary has endeared himself in the locker room as something of a know-it-all.
"He's a one-of-a-kind," captain Henrik Zetterberg said. "Everyone knows that. He's been away for a week, went to some camp. It's going to be fun to have him back."
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