On Cleary and Playing Through Pain


Craig Custance sent the Red Wings Twitterverse into a bit of a spin this afternoon with a tweet about Detroit forward Danny Cleary’s status:

Dan Cleary says he’s about 50 percent. Will play game 1 in Nashville.

The question most seem to be asking: Is Cleary at 50% better than anyone else the Wings could plug in on the second or third line?

Personally, I don’t think so. To be effective, Cleary needs to be able to skate strong, which he can’t do on one knee. He’s not Steve Yzerman, who made a legend out of doing that in 2002.

More importantly, as calming of a veteran presence as he may be, his style of play is not irreplaceable. Chris Conner could step onto the third or fourth lines and the Red Wings as a whole wouldn’t blink.

If it’s experience the Wings are worried about, they had no problem putting Cleary out in the 2006 playoffs having played a total of 10 NHL playoff games to that point. Conner sits at nine playoff games played in his career.

I understand loyalty to the guys who got you there but it’s a long season, sometimes getting you there is all they can do. When the Red Wings were beat up and had a ton of injuries, Cleary played through his to make sure the Wings made the playoffs. Now that they’re there, it’s time for someone to take over for Cleary.


Clark founded the site that would become DetroitHockey.Net in September of 1996. He continues to write for the site and executes the site's design and development, as well as that of DH.N's sibling site, FantasyHockeySim.com.

Comments are closed.