Cleary to be healthy scratch for Wings as Franzen returns versus Jets

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Dan Cleary, the veteran winger who so badly wanted to remain a member of the Detroit Red Wings that he reportedly spurned a higher offer with more financial security from Philadelphia, will be a healthy scratch tonight at home versus Winnipeg.

It wasn’t an easy move to make for Wings coach Mike Babcock. The team comes first though, and Cleary’s one goal and two assists in 18 contests wasn’t enough to keep him in the lineup.

“My job each and every day is to put the best 20 guys in the lineup that I think can help us win today,’’ Babcock said, per MLive.com. “I’ve been with Clears for nine years, I know him well; there’s no one who’s a bigger fan of Dan Cleary than Mike Babcock.

“I imagine he’s very (ticked) off today and I don’t know what you want me to do about it.’’

As Cleary takes a seat, winger Johan Franzen, whose injury/ailment we’ve covered here and there on PHT, is expected to be back in the lineup tonight. He’ll reportedly skate on the second line with Darren Helm in the middle and Daniel Alfredsson on the right side. The top line will once again feature Henrik Zetterberg, Pavel Datsyuk, and Todd Bertuzzi.

One final lineup note: center Stephen Weiss remains out with a groin injury that he hopes will be better by next week.

The Wings are winless in their last three games, including a 4-2 loss to the Jets in Winnipeg last Monday.