Daniel Cleary has had a change of heart.
Earlier this week, it was reported that the 34-year-old unrestricted free agent had signed a deal with the Philadelphia Flyers to attend their training camp on a professional try out. Cleary's three year, $8-million deal with the Flyers would not officially kick in until the end of the month because the team was already over the salary cap.
However, the Detroit Red Wings announced Thursday that Cleary would be returning for a ninth season in the Motor City after signing a one-year deal worth $1.75-million. The agreement will see Clearly earn 41-percent less than he did a year ago with the Red Wings.
Cleary reportedly turned down a three-year, $6-million offer from the Red Wings earlier this summer.
“It’s been a long process,” general manager Ken Holland told DetroitRedWings.com. “We talked to Dan in July, just before free agency and we couldn’t find a solution. Ultimately we made some decisions. I know Dan had some opportunities this week and he made a decision to come Detroit on a one-year contract.”
Clearly had nine goals and six assists in 48 regular season games last season but was the team’s second-leading scorer in the playoffs.
Holland says he and head coach Mike Babcock met with Cleary on Wednesday to hammer out the new deal.
“He’s versatile on the wing, he’s good in the locker room," said Holland. “He hopes to play until his 38, 39 years of age, he’s 34, and let’s take a one-year deal and trust that things will work out based on the coach knowing him, based upon the people that he knows in the locker room and the history of the ownership in Detroit.”
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