The Detroit Red Wings have reportedly signed free agent forward Dan Cleary to a one-year, $1.75 million contract. Earlier in the week, Cleary had supposedly agreed to a three-year, $8.25 million deal with the Flyers, but was invited to their training camp on a professional tryout due to the Flyers limited cap space.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: This story has had quite the twist. It seemed by last weekend Cleary had given up on returning with the Wings, and while it was going to take some creative cap juggling on the Flyers part, it appearedd he had himself a lucrative new deal worth more than what the Wings had offered.
There’s speculation Cleary may have used the Flyers as leverage to gain a new deal with the Wings. Others wonder if the contract with the Flyers and their claim Cleary was attending camp on a PTO was construed as cap circumvention by the league. Indeed, one wonders if the league might get involved after Cleary seemingly had a deal with the Flyers only to bolt at the last minute to the Red Wings.
Meanwhile, the Red Wings will have to shed some cap space via trade or demotions by the start of the season to free up sufficient room for Cleary’s salary.