Cleary ‘welcome’ to attend Detroit camp on a PTO


In 2005, Dan Cleary showed up at Red Wings training camp on a tryout basis, and won himself a contract.

Eight years later, he’s hoping to do the same.

The 34-year-old veteran forward sounds as though he’ll attend Red Wings camp in Traverse City, Mi., on a professional try out basis, according to the Detroit Free Press.

Wings GM Ken Holland told the paper Cleary was “welcome” at camp after spending the summer mulling over options — including overtures from other clubs.

Here’s more, from the Free Press:

The Wings offered him a deal before free agency began in July, but Cleary ended up hitting the market and was pursued by the likes of the Pittsburgh Penguins, who even had their captain, Sidney Crosby, call as a pitchman, as well as Anaheim and Philadelphia.

Cleary ultimately decided he wants to stay in Detroit, and the Wings do want him back.

The holdup, of course, is Detroit’s logjam at forward, with 16 skaters under contract and plans to only carry 14 on the active roster (this also doesn’t count Damien Brunner, the 27-year-old Swiss forward that had 26 points in 44 games last year and is also still without a deal.)

Cleary could find his way into action if Darren Helm’s back doesn’t improve — he’s still not able to skate pain-free — and Mikael Samuelsson can’t overcome the injuries that plagued him throughout last season.

There’s also the case of Jordin Tootoo, who fell out of Mike Babcock’s favor last season and was routinely made a healthy scratch. Detroit reportedly tried to move Tootoo this summer.

After healthy scratch, Severson vows to play ‘next 80 games’

Jimmy Hayes, Damon Severson
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Damon Severson was a healthy scratch on Saturday.

It’s the last game he wants to miss this season.

“I had a good chat with a few people and just pretty much said, ‘I want to be in the next 80 games,’” Severson said, per The Record. “I sat out my game and that’s all I want to be out for for the year.”

Severson is one of the Devils’ most important young players. But this is also the 21-year-old defenseman’s sophomore season, and that’s when slumps can occur.

Hence, the early message he was sent by the coaching staff.

Severson is expected to be back in the lineup tonight when New Jersey hosts Nashville.

“He doesn’t have to be perfect,” coach John Hynes told reporters. “We’d just like to see him have a high compete level. We know he’s ready to go. We had a couple of good meetings with him. He’s in a good spot mentally. I know he’s ready to roll.”

Virtanen to make NHL debut tonight versus Kings

Jake Virtanen
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Jake Virtanen, the sixth overall pick in the 2014 draft, will make his NHL debut tonight when his Canucks meet the Kings in Los Angeles.

The 19-year-old winger was a healthy scratch for Vancouver’s first three games of the regular season. He had two goals and two assists in six preseason games.

“I can’t wait,” he told reporters. “My energy is high. I want to get a couple of hits on my first shift.”

Big and physical with goal-scoring ability, the consensus is that Virtanen will remain in the NHL and not be returned to junior after he’s played nine games. That consensus could always change based on his play, of course.

The Canucks — who won last night in Anaheim — did not have a full skate this morning, so it’s unclear who will come out of the lineup. The best guess is rookie Jared McCann, who’s been playing third-line center.

If McCann does come out, the Canucks could move Brandon Sutter to third-line center and Virtanen could take Sutter’s spot on the first line with the Sedin twins. Or, there could be more extensive line juggling.