Dan Cleary has played his last eight NHL seasons with the Detroit Red Wings. (AP)
It began as just a discussion about having 34-year-old forward Dan Cleary come into the Flyers' camp on a PTO -- a tryout.
It ended with the Flyers giving the Stanley Cup veteran left wing an actual contract -- three years for $8.25 million, according to an NHL source, who confirmed the signing as reported by the Detroit Free Press late Monday.
The Flyers can't officially announce the deal until they get under the salary cap since they were already $2 million over it going into the month.
It was expected that Cleary was going to make a decision Monday night and he did.
Ask Detroit general manager Ken Holland about Cleary’s worth to the Red Wings, and he’d tell you Cleary was one of the “glue" guys that are so important for clubs to win a Cup. That’s what the Flyers figure they are getting for a 16-year NHL veteran who joins his fifth club.
Cleary had been talking about re-signing in Detroit. His last contract carried a cap hit of $2.8 million. Obviously, with the Flyers already $2 million over the salary cap, a trade is coming to lose salary.
Clearly is a tough-as-nails third liner, who might look pretty good with Sean Couturier and Matt Read. He would project to 18-20 goals and 40 points, given his stats over the past six full seasons (not including the lockout year).
The down side to this, of course, is that some young player now won’t make the Flyers' roster -- perhaps Tye McGinn? And there obviously will be less ice time for younger players, as well.