Daniel Cleary has spent his last 8 seasons playing for the Detroit Red Wings. He came to be a valuable roll player for the Red Wings during his time in Detroit, and was able to put up good production in the playoffs throughout his time there. Due to the Red Wings current cap crunch, and the roster size they are dealing with, Cleary was forced to take his assets elsewhere.
The Philadelphia Flyers, have somehow found the cap space to bring Cleary in. The Flyers have agreed to a three year deal with Cleary worth $7.75 million. Cleary’s cap hit will be a staggering $2.75 million a season. Cleary may be able to play up to the cap hit for a season, maybe two, but three years is going to be a stretch for a player who spends most of his time in physical combat with the opposing team’s defense, whether it be in the boards, or in front of the net.
Cleary is now 34, making him 37 when his contract will expire. This deal is going to leave a lot of people scratching their heads. Philly once again has overpaid a veteran skater, and given a contract term much longer than what they will be able to play at the level of money they will be given. The Flyers signed 33 year old, Vincent Lecavalier to a 5 year deal earlier this offseason for a cap hit of $4.5 million. The Flyers also gave 35 year old defenseman, Mark Streit a 4 year deal at a cap hit of $5.25 million this offseason. Needless to say, this team is going to be really interesting to see in a few years when the roster is full of old dead cap space from players who can no longer preform at the level they were expected to.
The Flyers were able to make the move for Cleary because of Chris Pronger‘s ongoing health issues. The Flyers will have Chris Pronger off the books, giving them a bit more help in the cap space department. Either way, the Flyers continue to spend money on the positions that they don’t need help in. The focus should be on the defensive side, but none the less, Dan Cleary will be joining the Flyers offensive attack for the following three seasons.
I’d be lying if I said I would miss Cleary, and I would be insane to say I thought he was worth that much money for another three years. I hope he can prove me wrong, but I don’t expect it to happen, so he’s your problem now Philly.