On the morning he was expected to take to the ice for the first time as a Philadelphia Flyer, Daniel Cleary is instead en route to Traverse City to rejoin the Detroit Red Wings at their training camp.
The Red Wings announced on Thursday morning that they had signed the veteran forward to a one-year contract. General manager Ken Holland revealed that the deal is worth $1.75 million.
Cleary had joined the Flyers on a pro try-out contract and had reportedly agreed to terms on a three-year deal that couldn't become official until Philadelphia cleared salary cap space by placing Chris Pronger on long-term injured reserve. He was expected to skate with the team at 8:30 AM today but wasn't present.
Helene St. James of the Detroit Free Press, who was the first to report on Cleary's deal with the Flyers, later Tweeted, "And here we go: Per Daniel Cleary 'Flying to Traverse. I'm back. Signing tonight.'"
The Red Wings now sit roughly $2.4 million over the salary cap and are carrying 17 forwards. They will need to be cap-compliant and down to 14 forwards in time for the start of the regular season.
Cleary had originally joined the Red Wings on a pro try-out after the 2005 NHL lockout, where he earned a spot with the team He's been with the Wings ever since. He was reluctant to leave Detroit, as seen by his spurning of the longer deal for more money from the Flyers.
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