Report: Dan Cleary to Inexplicably Sign With FlyersBREAKING NEWS, Flyers, News, NHL Tuesday, September 10th, 2013
Along with the announcement over the weekend that veteran defenseman Hal Gill had been signed to a professional tryout contract for the upcoming training camp, there had been rumors as to whether the Philadelphia Flyers were also going to bring in veteran forward Dan Cleary on the same type of contract.
Those rumors heated up early Monday, when it was suggested that Cleary was in talks with the Flyers, Detroit Red Wings (his former team) and the Florida Panthers.
The bombshell news dropped late Monday by Helene St. James of the Detroit Free Press– Cleary was going to Philly.
On a three year contract. Worth $2.75 million per season.
Cleary, 34, is a solid veteran forward addition to any team. At those terms, though? There is, unfortunately, no way he is ever going to live up to that contract (expected to be signed at the end of camp).
Cleary can reasonably be expected to put up 15 goals and 35 points in a full 82-game season, but for how long at his age? He’s talented, but he’s no Jaromir Jagr.
A three year deal will block the path to the NHL for any prospects looking to join the big club. Forget about letting the competition at training camp draw out the best available candidate; Cleary wins every “battle” by virtue of his contract.
The contract size would also further bloat the team’s salary cap situation, forcing a trade. General manager Paul Holmgren had previously been hesitant to move a defenseman for the offers he was getting before. What would one expect now if they are forced to shed salary? We’re looking at another Matt Walker situation here, where the organization must take o contract dead weight just to complete the deal.
Speaking of a “Matt Walker situation,” Cleary will also have the stigma as “the guy who forced Simon Gagne out of a tryout contract.” Some fans may not think twice about it, but Gagne still has plenty of loyalists.
Many of the offseason moves by the Flyers have been decent and well-lauded. If and when Cleary is officially signed, this will likely be one of those situations that tilts the scales back to an even balance.
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