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.