Detroit Red Wings Need to Re-Sign Dan Cleary

Bleacher ReportSenior Analyst IFebruary 5, 2008

Today, the Free Press' Helene St. James wrote a piece on Dan Cleary in which she discusses his contract situation.

The fact that Cleary is in the biggest contract year of his career is complicating things. St. James rightly notes that he'll be due a significant raise from his current $662,500 and uses Chicago's Patrick Sharp, who recently signed a four-year, $15.6 million deal ($3.9 million a year), as a point of comparison.

She suggests Cleary could command that much on the open market, though the Wings would like to sign him to a longer contract averaging around $2.5 million a season.

St. James pointed this out to Cleary. His response?

"That's a lot of money. That's something I would have to talk with my family about and make a decision about. It'd be a tough spot."

That is a lot of money. However, as St. James points out, the Wings may look to trade Cleary if they can't reach an agreement by the Feb. 26 deadline.

That way they'd get some return in case they cannot come to terms before or during the summer. Of course, if the Wings do make a trade with anybody, it's not going to be with a competitor. Cleary has to know this.

In that case, you would think the draw of a shot at the Stanley Cup would weigh more heavily in Dan's mind than the extra million and a half or so he could as a free agent.

I for one can't imagine this team without Cleary, who exemplifies the new Red Wings of the Mike Babcock era and who has become one of my favorite players. Hopefully he'll take the same route as so many of his teammates and accept a "hometown discount."

Related

    Senators in No-Win Situation with Karlsson

    NHL logo
    NHL

    Senators in No-Win Situation with Karlsson

    Adam Gretz
    via ProHockeyTalk

    Rangers React to Management 'Throwing in the Towel'

    NHL logo
    NHL

    Rangers React to Management 'Throwing in the Towel'

    Joey Alfieri
    via ProHockeyTalk

    Islanders Sign Bailey to 6-Year/$30M Deal

    NHL logo
    NHL

    Islanders Sign Bailey to 6-Year/$30M Deal

    NHL.com
    via NHL.com

    Germany Shocks Canada, Will Play OAR in Final

    NHL logo
    NHL

    Germany Shocks Canada, Will Play OAR in Final

    Gianni Verschueren
    via Bleacher Report