Over the next few weeks we will be looking at Detroit Red Wings’ player who are becoming Unrestricted Free Agents this summer and deciding whether or not the Red Wings would re-sign them or cut them loose.
HEIGHT: 6′ 0″
CAP HIT: $2,800,000
STATS: 15 points (9 goals, 6 assists) / 48 games played
Daniel Cleary joined the Detroit Red Wings as a camp invite player in 2005-06 and impressed the Wings enough to earn a contract and playing time, he has played with the Red Wings ever since.
He is a prototypical grinder; he skates nose first into the dirty areas on the ice, goes to the front of the net, and does not lose a lot of puck battles on the boards.
It seems his injury concerns are behind him as he was the only player to play in every single regular season and playoff game this year.
Clearly loves playing for Detroit and said so to Mlives, Brendan Savage.
“My thoughts are I love Detroit, obviously,” said Cleary 34. “That’s an understatement. Got a great relationship with Kenny (Holland, the Red Wings’ general manager). He said we have to get talking. So we’ll figure it out pretty soon.”
Despite the fact that he is not the most skilled player Cleary works harder than almost anyone else on the ice, because of this he is able to pot the gritty goals and give Henrik Zetterberg a grinder to do the dirty work.
His production dropped a bit this season, but that can be attributed to the shortened season, as he was one of the best players for the Red Wings during their playoff run.
With all of the prospects coming up and the emergence of Justin Abdelkader, Daniel Cleary might have lost his spot through no fault of his own.
He will likely receive a contract around the same as his current $2.8 million, which might be too much for Ken Holland and co. to pay for his services.
What do you think, will Daniel Cleary return next season?