Daniel Cleary still prefers Red Wings over Flyers | Hockey | CBC Sports

Hockey Night in CanadaDaniel Cleary still prefers Red Wings over Flyers

Posted: Thursday, September 12, 2013 | 08:45 AM

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Daniel Cleary has spent the past eight of his 15 NHL seasons with the Detroit Red Wings. Gregory Shamus/Getty Images) Daniel Cleary has spent the past eight of his 15 NHL seasons with the Detroit Red Wings. Gregory Shamus/Getty Images)

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Unsigned veteran forward Daniel Cleary was invited but failed to show at Philadelphia Flyers training camp amid speculation he is still trying to strike a deal with the Detroit Red Wings.


Now that Philadelphia Flyers training camp is underway and Daniel Cleary is not part of it, here is what we understand to be true.

Wednesday, I was working on a piece explaining the salary-cap dancing Philadelphia must do to sign Cleary to the reported three-year, $8.25-million US contract.

For the record, Flyers general manager Paul Holmgren has said there is no guarantee. He claimed the veteran was joining the team on a tryout basis.

Anyway, one of the people I spoke to called back to say, "Don't write it, something's up. It may not be happening."

He wouldn't provide any further information, except that "you will have to ask the Flyers."

Holmgren and another team official have not responded to requests for comment, although Holmgren did tell Philly reporters that "until I hear from the horse's mouth," he had no reason to assume Cleary wasn't coming (It was about an hour after the first requests were made to the Flyers that there was enough confirmation to go with the report).

The team included Cleary in its training camp lineup for Thursday morning.

Initially, it was assumed to be a cap compliance issue, especially since other teams were furious at the move. According to an NHL source, that is not the case. There appears to be no league-level complaint.

Discussions with Detroit

Instead, Cleary, who also has kept a low profile, seems to have had a change of heart and would like to stay in Detroit. He met Wednesday afternoon with Red Wings GM Ken Holland and head coach Mike Babcock to discuss a return that could see him leaving about $2.5 million US on the table compared to Philadelphia's offer.

However, Detroit's main problem remains having 25 players under contract. If Cleary does decide to stay -- and it is believed Babcock wants it to happen -- bodies must be moved.

That's where it stands as of Thursday morning. Undoubtedly, there is more to come.

Follow Elliotte Friedman on Twitter @FriedgeHNIC

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