Dan Cleary is a hockey player in the National Hockey League. He has played much of his career for the Detroit Red Wings. If these are the only two facts you know about the new Flyers forward, you're not alone.
So to help us get to know Cleary a little better, I quickly asked J.J. from Red Wings blog Winging It In Motown to answer a few questions about him. Those questions, and J.J.'s answers, appear below.
BSH: What does Cleary bring to the table on the ice?
JJ: Cleary is a defensively responsible winger who plays well above average at the net front/goalie screen role and is excellent on the boards, especially in the offensive zone. He makes space for his teammates to do what they do and is probably the only Wings player over the last four years I haven't yelled at for failing yo execute a simple play while his team changed behind him.
What about off the ice?
Off ice, Cleary is described as a great teammate and hard worker. Coaches like him, veterans like him, and youngsters like him. His career started rocky because of a bad attitude after he was drafted. He learned his lesson and is one of the better veteran role models.
Why didn't the Red Wings bring him back?
Detroit is a team in transition that absolutely needs some space to try out youngsters in roles where they might be able to start taking some offensive responsibility away from their aging core. Even then, the Samuelsson albatross deal was probably the primary reason they didn't re-sign Cleary.
Do you think the Flyers are overpaying for his services?
I do. I think the deal is a year too long and between $500K-$1M too rich. Cleary's talents are fading with his age and the style of play taking a toll on him.
Would you expect Cleary to still play at a high level in Years 2 and 3 of his contract?
I think year three is the big problem. He should hold together a bit longer and may even be worth more than his deal this year, but I think it's just too rich to get the full value out of all three years.