Philadelphia Flyers: The Curious Case Of Daniel Cleary


September 21, 2011; Pittsburgh,PA, USA: Detroit Red Wings right wing Dan Cleary (11) before the game against the Pittsburgh Penguins at the CONSOL Energy Center. Mandatory Credit: Charles LeClaire-USPRESSWIRE

When the news broke late Monday night that the Flyers were signing free agent winger Dan Cleary I have to admit I was taken by a little surprise.  I was almost convinced that Philly was going to make every effort they could, under the salary cap, to sign Simon Gagne when they had the chance.  I heard the rumors that they were one of the teams interested in signing Cleary, but as every Flyers fan knows; they are seemingly in every single rumor about an available player.  So rumors here have to be taken with a grain of salt until proven otherwise.  My first reaction was that there was no chance of Gagne coming back now, and I am okay with that.  Dan Cleary is an upgrade over Gagne, but his price-tag also reflects that as well.  Cleary and Gagne at this point in their careers are comparable in the skill department, but Cleary brings more of an edge to his game.  Something that always screams Flyers hockey, and in some respects fills a position of need.  Now the years of the reported deal (3 years-2.75mil per) seem to be about one year too long for a 34 year old player, but with free agents the price is the price.  Demand sometimes requires overpayment of some kind be it years or dollars.

Then today news started to come out that he will not be joining the Flyers as once reported.  There is some sort of “complication” that is holding up the deal.  On the surface that seems pretty odd, but when the subject was brought up to Philly GM Paul Holmgren he seemed to be unaware of the reports.  Now that brings it from odd to down right strange.  How could a GM of the team that signs a certain player be totally left in the dark about this.  Curious huh???  And it gets better.  I just received an updated roster for the start of training camp and it lists #11 Dan Cleary as being in Group A (8:30-11a.m.)tomorrow.  No one seems to have any anything concrete.  I hope they are not waiting until then to see if he shows or not.  I hope he does show up. I was starting to really like the idea of seeing him on the third or fourth line wing.  Although it was only for one day.  Ah what could have been…wait it still could be I guess.  To top all this craziness off; Dan Cleary himself is not even answering phone call attempts on the matter.

Now onto other things

*Mondays suck!!! Well they do for most of us. Unless you are Taylor Leier (2012 fourth round draft pick)who signs his entry-level contract on Monday and then goes and scores the only goal in the Washington/Flyers rookie game on the same day.  At least he took a puck to the face on Sunday that didn’t do much damage except for 12 stiches.  That’s what I call balance.  Who is kidding who though?  I would gladly take a puck to the melon if on the next day I was guaranteed millions.

*After watching the rookies game on Monday the only thing I could think of is that this is pure nerves on ice.  It seemed like everyone out there was only skating not to make a big mistake.  Can’t blame them though.  They have to battle the desire to make a great impression yet not do anything to make them stand in a negative light.

*If and I mean “IF” Dan Cleary is in fact a Flyer some of their youth is going to have to wait a bit longer to see time with the big club.  That is not necessarily a bad thing though.  One of the bigger problems Philly has had over the last decade is the development of their farm system.  With the draft classes of the last couple of years and some of the trades that have been made the system has put some potential talent back into the pool.

*Forward lines: Hartnell-Giroux-Voracek, Schenn-Lecavalier-Simmonds, Laughton-Couturier-Read, Cleary(maybe)-Hall-Talbot would not bother me at all.  Rinaldo and Rosehill can battle it out for playing time here and there.

*Hall Gill is in camp on a professional try-out contract.  I think he would make a much better seventh d-man than Gervais did last year.

*I know that the Flyers do not necessarily have to make a trade to be cap compliant next year, but I feel that one or two deals are coming within the next couple weeks.  I’m a Flyers fan and I guess that is just how were conditioned to think.

*The most important thing that all of us hockey fans, regardless of the team that you root for, can now get excited about is: HOCKEY IS BACK!!!  On time this year.

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