Dan Cleary signs 3-year, $8.25 million deal with Flyers (Wait, what?)

Dave Sandford

Confusing move here. The Flyers have signed Dan Cleary to a three-year deal, filling out their forward corps for 2013-14.

It's late and I'm on a bit of an Eagles hangover, so this is going to have to be short for now. But big news this evening: The Flyers have signed UFA forward Dan Cleary to a three-year deal worth $2.75 million per year. Because they are the Flyers, this includes a no-trade clause. Cleary is 34 years old.

The Flyers are over the cap, hence the pause in this becoming official. The cap implications are literally, actually giving me a headache right now, to be honest. More later on those.

I quickly texted Kurt R. before throwing this post together, looking for his thoughts. "My thoughts are basically, 'what, what?'," he responded. Sounds about right.

My initial thoughts, which have more to do with other roster battles than Cleary's attributes: This basically means that Simon Gagne won't be invited to camp, and it probably means Scott Laughton doesn't make the team. Same goes for any other non-obvious-roster-player who thought they had a chance at cracking the roster at forward.

Cleary is likely to be no more than a third-line forward, and the three-year deal makes this a real head scratcher. There was no obvious need for a guy like Cleary. I'm just baffled, and I don't think that's just because I'm tired. What does Cleary bring the Flyers that's worth more than what Tye McGinn or Jason Akeson or Gagne or Laughton or any other number of options could of provided?

We'll have much, much more in the morning. Let us know what you think in the meantime.

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