The Dan Cleary saga will come to an end today.
The veteran forward, who has spent the last eight years in Detroit but is currently without a contract, will decide his fate today — just two days before the majority of NHL training camps are set to start.
“It’s not an easy decision to make,” Cleary told the Detroit Free Press. “But I’ve got to come up with something today, figure out what I’m going to do. Got some options.”
Cleary, 34, told the Free Press he has offers from two other teams — “guaranteed contracts,” he explained — but has long maintained his first choice would be to return to Detroit, the place he’s called home since 2005.
Problem is, Detroit can’t exactly welcome him back.
The Wings have 16 skaters under contract and plan 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.)
Earlier this week, the Detroit Free Press reported Anaheim, Philadelphia and Pittsburgh had all expressed interest in Cleary, with the Penguins sending fellow Maritimer Sidney Crosby to make a pitch.
Cleary has a standing offer from GM Ken Holland to head to Traverse City — the site of Detroit’s 2013 training camp — on a tryout basis.
The veteran winger, who joined the Red Wings after arriving on a camp PTO in ’05, says he wants something more secure.
“If I go to Traverse City it’s not going to be on a tryout like I did eight years ago,” Cleary explained. “Whether it’s signed or something agreed on it’ll be something.”