Daniel Cleary signed a one-year deal to the tune of 2.5 million dollars – 1.5 million base salary and 1 million dollar bonus for playing in ten games – with the Detroit Red Wings, but where does he fit in the line-up?
When Cleary was re-signed last year during Training Camp, the rumors were that Mike Babcock and company wanted Daniel Cleary to play on the top line next to Henrik Zetterberg and Pavel Datsyuk, but it did not happen.
Justin Abdelkader made the spot on the top line his own in the first couple days before Cleary had a chance to compete for the spot and that led to Cleary jumping between lines during the season.
This year Cleary will be heading into Training Camp with a contract, but once again there is no set spot for Cleary to play.
While Cleary could be a good player for Detroit on the fourth line, but the Red Wings just bought out Jordin Tootoo – who was making too much to play on the fourth line – and after Cleary plays ten games he will be making 600,000 dollars more than Detroit would have paid Tootoo this season.
Daniel Cleary ended the season last year with fifty-two games played and eight points; the only players with fewer points than him last season who are still on the team are: Luke Glendening, Brian Lashoff, and Stephen Weiss.
Because of this, Daniel Cleary should have to earn a spot with Detroit by beating out the players who earned his spot last season.
Mike Babcock and Detroit is notorious for choosing veterans to play over the younger guys, but when a player was ineffective on the ice as Cleary was last season for Detroit, then it is time to make the player battle for playing time.
The question is where does Daniel Cleary fit in with Detroit?
Cleary will probably be used on the third or fourth line, but I would prefer to see Tomas Jurco or another young forward playing a head of him and making him a depth forward.
Daniel Cleary said he will be looking to redeem himself and will use the fans’ disapproval as motivation. He will need all the motivation he can get to have a good season with Detroit.