Red Wings general manager Ken Holland announced on Friday that veteran forward Daniel Cleary, who cleared waivers and was assigned to the Grand Rapids Griffins on Thursday, will not report to Detroit’s American Hockey League affiliate.
Retirement would seem to be the only option left for Cleary. Alternately, his contract could be terminated, leaving him free to sign elsewhere, likely in a lower-level league or overseas.
Cleary signed a $950,000 contract with the Red Wings over the summer. Of that deal, Holland said, “That’s between the club and Cleary.”
Were Cleary to retire and join the organization as a scout or coach, the collective bargaining agreement between the league and the players dictates that he could not simply make his playing salary in that role.
Originally Chicago’s first-round pick in the 1997 NHL Entry Draft, Cleary has appeared in 938 career NHL games with the Blackhawks, Edmonton Oilers, Phoenix Coyotes, and Red Wings. He has scored 165 goals and added 222 assists for 387 career points.