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Flyers to (Eventually) Sign Dan Cleary to ‘Baffling’ 3-Year Deal

Sep 10, 2013, 3:17 PM EDT


Where to begin. Do we start with the Flyers’ always-maddening salary cap situation, which prevents them from physically signing anybody to an actual contract right this moment? Or should we talk about the multi-year deal the club is giving yet another player in his mid 30s?

How ‘bout we just go with the news that the Orange & Black have reportedly agreed to a three-year, $8.25 million contract with longtime Detroit Red Wing forward Dan Cleary.

But the only thing the Flyers and Clearly have truly agreed on here is a wink-nudge “tryout.” The team is $2 million over the cap at the moment, but they’ll be below the threshold once the season starts and Chris Pronger can be moved on to the long-term injured reserve list, which will free up close to $5 million. Only then can the pact with Cleary become official.

It’s the same reason why the team couldn’t do anything with Simon Gagne this summer. On that note, with Cleary now in the fold in Philadelphia as a probable third-line winger, it appears Gagne’s ship has sailed here.

Meanwhile, the Cleary deal has its critics. He’ll be 37 years old at the end, which means the Flyers are blocking a roster spot that could eventually go to or even right now belong to one of their young, developing players with yet another aging veteran, and for years to come at that.

Oh, and the contract comes complete with a full no-trade language.

Greg Wyshynski for Puck Daddy described the signing as “baffling,” while Travis Hughes expressed exasperation with the deal on his post at Broad Street Hockey.

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 [Scott] Laughton or any other number of options could of provided?

Purely from the standpoint of what the Flyers are getting for their money, it’s probably fine. Cleary is your proverbial glue guy, somebody who will score some dirty goals and play important special teams minutes.

Ideally though, they could have found a similar contribution from the group of players currently in their minor-league system, or with a one-year deal to a veteran like Gagne. Yeah, baffling sounds about right, but you know the Flyers — always going for it.

>> How can the Flyers fit Dan Cleary on the roster? [CSN]

  1. Abe Lincoln - Sep 10, 2013 at 3:30 PM

    Ed Snider = The Al Davis of Hockey

    • hitnrun - Sep 10, 2013 at 3:38 PM

      Al Davis wishes he had enablers like a large proportion of Flyers fans.

      Well, not really, because he’s dead. You know what I mean.

  2. BenE. - Sep 10, 2013 at 4:11 PM

    Awful awful awful awful!

    There are young guys like McGinn ready to make the jump and give more at a lot cheaper, and Holmgren gives out a 3 year contract to this guy along with ANOTHER no trade clause? Unreal. NTC’s are supposed to be reserved for stars and franchise players who deserve it. Except on the Flyers where every plug from Hartnell to Talbot to Cleary gets one. Just a dumb signing all around. Don’t need him, don’t want him, tune in at 6 to find out how I really feel.

  3. Abel - Sep 10, 2013 at 5:01 PM

    Not bothered with this pick-up one way or the other.

    Sure he’s a older veteran on the tail-end of his career and he’s being overpaid to generally push one of the juniors down the development ladder.

    On the other hand, he’s someone who the Red Wings thought highly of (they were hoping to re-sign him to a new deal), has a ton of experience on winning teams while being paired up with Read & Couturier on the third line (potentially), plus it’s added depth for a long season where injuries have tended to plague this club in recent seasons. I can see it where McGinn or Laughton will now ease their way into a full-time position rather than hand them one with no alternative option if they drop the ball.

    To me, whatever. I still think this is a playoff-capable team with what they currently have and I’m looking forward to seeing how things playout with teams and the new divisions.

  4. psudrozz - Sep 11, 2013 at 9:03 AM

    i like cleary, but this isn’t the right price or the right move.

    Bring the youth up, develope/spend on defense.

  5. Schmidsy - Sep 11, 2013 at 12:36 PM

    Somebody please pull the trigger on a deal that involves Homers retirement and Hexy’s progression… now..
    I’m 41, and thinking about trying out.. who’s with me, aside from How Gill?


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