Tag Archives: daniel cleary

Wings set to meet with agents for Niskanen, Boyle and many others Thursday in Philadelphia

DETROIT >> The ability of teams to meet with pending free agents prior to the signing date helped the Wings land Daniel Alfredsson last season.

They hope it helps them land another top free agent, this time a defenseman, when players can finally sign on July 1.

“I like it,” Wings general manager Ken Holland said. “It’s excellent for the players.”

The time to “wine and dine” free agents began Wednesday.

The Wings’ top priority this free agent period is landing a top-four defenseman, one that preferably is a right-handed shot. They would also like to acquire a top-six forward if terms are right.

Defensemen Dan Boyle (New York Islanders) and Matt Niskanen (Pittsburgh) seem to be the perfect fit and the Wings will meet with their agents Thursday in Philadelphia.

Niskanen, 27, is most likely looking for a lengthy deal, probably a maximum seven years, to sign, which the Wings would be OK with, but they’re not going to break the bank to get him. They may not want to pay him much more annually than what Niklas Kronwall ($4.75 million) is making.

Boyle is older, he’ll turn 38 next month, and reportedly drawing interest from a number of teams, including Toronto and the New York Rangers.

Other possible blue line targets are Anton Stralman (Rangers), Tom Gilbert (Florida) and Stephane Robidas (Anaheim).

“Before you’d get to signing day and the player and team would have to make a decision in like an hour or two,” Holland said. “Now teams have the opportunity to let players know they have interest and to tell them how they would fit in on our team.”

This is the second year of this “pitching” period, which was written into the latest collective bargaining agreement.

But unlike last year, teams can now discuss general parameters of a contract, but they still can’t make an offer or reach any agreement.

“It’s an opportunity to see what’s out there, to talk to players we got some interest in, let them know what we’re thinking,” Holland said. “It’s an opportunity to sell your program.”

Last season the Wings’ pitch to Alfredsson convinced the long-time forward to leave Ottawa where he had spent his entire career and sign with Detroit.

They also did the same to sign Stephen Weiss, who had spent his entire career with the Florida Panthers.

Detroit has close to $54 million tied up in 18 players for next season, which includes the $3 million from bonuses for Alfredsson, Danny DeKeyser and Tomas Tatar that carry over from last season.

With the salary cap projected at nearly $70 million, it’ll leave the Wings close to $16 million to spend, some of which will go to resigning restricted free agents Riley Sheahan, DeKeyser and Tatar.

“Ideally, we’ll make a move on the back end and add one more forward,” Holland said. “We’re going to wait until June 30 to see if we’re going to do anything with our guys.”

Defenseman Kyle Quincey, who’s unrestricted, is expected to hit the open market.

Alfredsson and Daniel Cleary, who was promised a possible extension after signing a one-year deal on the first day of training camp, could both re-signed as well.

“Dan Cleary is a guy that when he signed here last year for a one-year deal, we had conversations beyond one year because he had contract offers or three years from a couple of teams,” Holland said last week.

Cleary, 35, struggled last season. In 52 games he totaled four goals, four assists and had a minus-11 rating.

Cleary tried to return from a knee injury he suffered before the Olympic break, but a bad reaction to an injection that he had no side effects two times earlier made his knee inflamed.

“He’s coming off a real tough season,” Holland said. “I know he’s working really hard to try and get some leg strength to give himself the best opportunity he can for a bounce back year.”

Cleary spurned a professional tryout from the Philadelphia Flyers and wound up signing a one-year deal to return to the Wings for $1.75 million on the eve of training camp.

He also shot down a report that he was offered a three-year deal worth $2.75 million a season to join the Flyers.

Signing Cleary put the Wings three players over the roster limit and just over $2 million over the salary cap.

Cleary had rejected the Wings’ two- and three-year offers prior to the opening of free agency they moved on and signed Alfredsson (one year, $5.5 million) and Weiss (five years, $24.5 million).

Teams begin first day of sales pitches to free agents

DETROIT >> The ability of teams to meet with pending free agents prior to the signing date helped the Wings land Daniel Alfredsson last season.

They’re hoping it does the same this time around.

“I like it,” Wings general manager Ken Holland said in a phone interview. “It’s excellent for the players.”

The time to “wine and dine” free agents began Wednesday. Teams can begin signing players on July 1.

“Before you’d get to signing day and the player and team would have to make a decision in like an hour or two,” Holland said. “Now teams have the opportunity to let players know they have interest and to tell them how they would fit in on our team.

“It’s an opportunity to see what’s out there, to talk to players we got some interest in, let them know what we’re thinking,” Holland added. “It’s an opportunity to sell your program.”

Last season the Wings’ pitch to Alfredsson convinced the long-time forward to leave Ottawa where he had spent his entire career and sign with Detroit.

They also did the same to sign Stephen Weiss, who had spent his entire career with the Florida Panthers.

This is the second year of this “meet and greet” period, which was written into the new Collective Bargaining Agreement.

But unlike last year, teams can now discuss general parameters of a contract, but they still can’t make an offer or reach any agreement.

The Wings’ top priority this free agent period is landing a top-four defenseman, one that preferably is a right-handed shot. They would also like to acquire top-six forward if terms are right.

Defenseman Dan Boyle (New York Islanders) seems to be the perfect fit for the Wings.

Detroit has close to $54 million tied up in 18 players for next season, which includes the $3 million from bonuses for Daniel Alfredsson, Danny DeKeyser and Tomas Tatar that carry over from last season.

With the salary cap projected at nearly $70 million it’ll leave the Wings close to $16 million to spend some of which will go to resigning restricted free agents Riley Sheahan, DeKeyser and Tatar.

“Ideally, we’ll make a move on the back end and add one more forward,” Holland said. “We’re going to wait until June 30 to see if we’re going to do anything with our guys.”

Defenseman Kyle Quincey, who’s unrestricted, is expected to hit the open market.

Alfredsson and Daniel Cleary, who was promised a possible extension after signing a one-year deal on the first day of training camp, could both re-signed as well.

“Dan Cleary is a guy that when he signed here last year for a one-year deal, we had conversations beyond one year because he had contract offers or three years from a couple of teams,” Holland said.

Cleary, 35, struggled last season. In 52 games he totaled four goals, four assists and had a minus-11 rating.

Cleary tried to return from a knee injury he suffered before the Olympic break, but a bad reaction to an injection that he had no side effects two times earlier made his knee inflamed.

“He’s coming off a real tough season,” Holland said. “I know he’s working really hard to try and get some leg strength to give himself the best opportunity he can for a bounce back year.”

Cleary spurned a professional tryout from the Philadelphia Flyers and wound up signing a one-year deal to return to the Wings for $1.75 million on the eve of training camp.

He also shot down a report that he was offered a three-year deal worth $2.75 million a season to join the Flyers.

Signing Cleary put the Wings three players over the roster limit and just over $2 million over the salary cap.

Cleary had rejected the Wings’ two- and three-year offers prior to the opening of free agency they moved on and signed Alfredsson (one year, $5.5 million) and Weiss (five years, $24.5 million).

After bad reaction to knee injection, there’s an outside possibility Cleary could miss the rest of the season

DETROIT >> Daniel Cleary had a procedure done to help his knee for the Wings’ stretch run after the Winter Olympics.

Instead, Cleary has found himself sidelined indefinitely.

Cleary had a painkiller called Synvic One injected in his knee, which is a natural substance that lubricates and cushions knee joints.

It’s a procedure that he’s had done twice earlier and had no side effects.

This time his knee became inflamed.

“There’s like a one percent chance of getting a reaction out of it and I was that one percent,” Cleary said Tuesday at Joe Louis Arena. “It just swelled up real bad, took three weeks for the swelling to go away. I had to drain it numerous times. So now it’s starting to feel better.

“It’s been mentally trying,” Cleary added. “I’m looking to get back on the ice in the next few days.”

Tomas Holmstrom had a similar reaction to the same injection two years ago that made him miss a decent amount of time.

“A lot of people have had it,” Cleary said. “It helps and I wanted to do it for the last 20 games and make the transition to the playoffs like easier, I guess you could say, and I had a one percent reaction. It’s quite fitting, actually, how you see we’ve gone this year with injuries on the team. It’s like, really? That’s how it’s been.”

Detroit is second in the league in man games lost according to mangameslost.com at 379.

“I think the guys are playing great, tip your hat to them,” Cleary said. “I think the objective for anybody who’s hurt is to make yourself available and to get healthy. You want to have as many guys on board as you can.”

Cleary has missed the past 22 games, including all 17 since returning from the Olympic break.

“No, I don’t,” Cleary said when asked if he had a timeframe of when he thought he could return. “It’s been so long. Once you shut it down for so long, you’ve got to rebuild it back up. It’s taken a little while.

“Obviously, you train off the ice,” Cleary continued. “You’re out a week or 10 days or a month or two months, whatever it is, there’s nothing like game condition no matter what you do so you’ve got to get in games, that type of setting. I don’t know if I’m going to be able to get it so we’ll see.”

There’s an outside possibility that Cleary could miss the rest of the season because of the injection.

“It could be if I’m not able to get it as strong as I need to get it but I’m working towards that,” Cleary said. “Rehab and not playing is way harder than playing. Let’s put it that way. You try to get out of that (training room) as quick as you can.”

Cleary last skated on his own Saturday.

“You don’t really want to get in the way,” Cleary said. “You want to make sure that you’re going so you can become a part of it rather than get in the way.”

Holland with injury updates on Datsyuk, Zetterberg, Weiss and Cleary

DETROIT >> The news on the long list of injured isn’t much clearer than it was a week ago.

The Wings have gotten back Todd Bertuzzi (lower-body injury), Darren Helm (concussion), Jonas Gustavsson (groin) and Joakim Andersson (broken foot), but are still without Pavel Datsyuk (knee), Henrik Zetterberg (back), Stephen Weiss (sports hernia), Jonathan Ericsson (fractured finger, partially torn tendon), Tomas Jurco (broken rib), Justin Abdelkader (leg laceration), Daniel Cleary (knee) and Mikael Samuelsson (shoulder).

Bertuzzi was out Sunday with the flu.

Zetterberg and Ericsson are done for the regular season.

Here are updates on a few of the players from Wings general manager Ken Holland:

Datsyuk: “Don’t know what’s next. I’ll talk to the trainers and doctors to see what’s next, but right now he’s still going through the time he needs to give it a chance to heal.”

Datsyuk tweeted Monday that he just began skating and hopes to play soon.

Zetterberg: “I don’t know when he’ll be cleared to skate. I’m told at around eight weeks he’ll be cleared for physical contact. I do know before the end of the season he’ll be back skating, but I just don’t know when.”

Weiss: “He had a second opinion. The second opinion was similar to that of the Philadelphia doctor, Myers’ opinion. I think what’s going to happen is he’ll get a cortisone injection, hoping it relieves things. We don’t know if it’s inflammation or if it’s a different issue or if it’s scar tissue. He feels OK going 65, 70, 75 percent, but when he pushes all out he feels pain and when he gets pain he backs back off. He’s been told to push through. He’s pushed through. We’re going to give him another 72 hours and keep our fingers crossed that there’s some progress.”

Cleary: “I think he’s frustrated at the lack of … during the Olympic break he did some things and he had a reaction. He got some fluid on his knee, had it drained then he got some more fluid on his knee. He feels better, but nowhere near where he needs it to be to talk about practicing every day and making a comeback.”

Red Wings continue to get bitten by injury bug

DETROIT >> Just when it looked like the Red Wings were getting close to being at full health, more injury news surfaced Monday.

– Pavel Datsyuk won’t play Tuesday in New Jersey because of a knee injury.

– Daniel Cleary will miss at least a week a week with a knee injury.

– Jakub Kindl won’t play Tuesday due to a sprained MCL that he suffered on Feb. 3.

– Stephen Weiss suffered a setback in his recovery from a sports hernia.

“I think we’re more concerned that we’ve got to win a game (Tuesday) and we’ve got to find 20 guys that are healthy and can give us a chance to win,” Wings general manager Ken Holland said when asked if he was concerned with the latest injury updates.

Datsyuk has had an issue with his knee the last two months, but was able to play for Russia at the Olympics. However, in just his second game back he sat the entire third period of a 6-1 win over Ottawa.

“(I) can’t play,” Datsyuk said. “(I have an) issue with my knee. We’re looking day-to-day, (but) hard to say anything.”
Datsyuk said he needs rest and treatment to recover.

“He’s been battling (this) since early January, (it) just won’t go away,” Holland said. “If Pav’s healthy and can help us win he’ll be in the lineup.”
Joakim Andersson will center the team’s top line Tuesday, with wingers Gustav Nyquist and Johan Franzen.

“Well he’s just got to be a guy who gets some pucks back, got to be a guy who wins faceoffs and plays well in detail and the rest will look after itself,” Wings coach Mike Babcock said. “Just play and do what he does.”

Weiss did practice Monday, but it ended with what Holland said was, “a bad day for him.”

“I kind of thought Stephen Weiss would be ready a week ago, but the body hasn’t responded the way we had hoped,” Holland said. “So you look at a timeline and you believe that’s the timeline (but) you never really know until you get there.”

The team is already without Henrik Zetterberg for the rest of the regular season.

Despite this recent rash of the injuries, Holland will continue his same approach when looking at possible deals with the trade deadline on Wednesday.

“There are very few players like Stephen Weiss and Pavel Datsyuk that are available,” Holland said. “I also think if we qualify for the playoffs, we believe somewhere in that time frame Zetterberg will be back.

“Because of where we are in the standings and because of the unknown with the number of our key players with regards to injury it’s pretty difficult to step up and trade high draft picks and real top prospects in order to get short-term players,” Holland continued. “We’ve got players as good as those guys or better so when you look at the way our young kids have played, we sit out some veterans every night so we’ve got veterans up front, we got some veterans on defense and we’ve got some kids in the American League. It’s a long-winded answer of saying if there’s a hockey trade we’ll look at it but we’re not looking at top-end rentals for those two reasons: because of our place in the standings and because of the unknown about some of our top players.”

Ins and outs

DETROIT — A number of the regulars – Niklas Kronwall, Jimmy Howard, Daniel Cleary, Henrik Zetterberg, Todd Bertuzzi and Patrick Eaves – were given the day off by Wings coach Mike Babcock.

All will play Saturday at home against the Los Angeles Kings with Howard starting.

Many of the injured players – Johan Franzen (concussion), Pavel Datsyuk (lower-body injury), Ericsson (ribs) and Jonas Gustavsson (groin) – practiced, but Babcock had no update on any of them.

Franzen and Ericsson both said they weren’t playing Saturday. Datsyuk left the ice early and never returned so he’s doubtful.

Joakim Andersson (lower-body injury) and Daniel Alfredsson (back spasms) didn’t skate.

“You feel bad,” said Andersson, who was injured at practice Wednesday. “I tried in the morning to go, but I couldn’t. We have so many injuries and now we have another guy out.”

Andersson said he’s probably out Saturday.

Alfredsson is also likely out since he hasn’t practiced in some time.

The only lineup chance Babcock said would occur is Tomas Tatar returning.

Tomas Jurco also will stay in the lineup according to Babcock, who would not say which forward would be a healthy scratch. That forward is likely Mikael Samuelsson.

Many regulars get day off from practice; Tatar returns; Jurco stays in lineup

DETROIT – Quick update from Wings practice at Joe Louis Arena.

A number of the regulars – Niklas Kronwall, Jimmy Howard, Daniel Cleary, Henrik Zetterberg, Todd Bertuzzi and Patrick Eaves – were given the day off by coach Mike Babcock.

All will play Saturday at home against the Los Angeles Kings with Howard starting.

Many of the injured players – Johan Franzen (concussion), Pavel Datsyuk (lower-body injury), Jonathan Ericsson (ribs) and Jonas Gustavsson (groin) – practiced, but Babcock had no update on any of them.

Franzen and Ericsson both said they weren’t playing Saturday. Datsyuk left the ice early and never returned so he’s doubtful.

Joakim Andersson (lower-body injury) and Daniel Alfredsson (back spasms) didn’t skate.

“You feel bad,” said Andersson, who was injured at practice Wednesday. “I tried in the morning to go, but I couldn’t. We have so many injuries and now we have another guy out.”

Andersson said he’s probably out Saturday.

Alfredsson is also likely out since he hasn’t practiced in some time.

The only lineup chance Babcock said would occur is Tomas Tatar returning.

Tomas Jurco also will stay in the lineup according to Babcock, who would not say which forward would be a healthy scratch. That forward is likely Mikael Samuelsson.

Tatar arrived in Detroit late Thursday after attending his father’s funeral in Slovakia.

“I’m really happy to be back,” Tatar said. “Hockey makes me think of something else other than my dad. The guys have been really helpful, coach has been great, and management was really good. I’m happy to be back and go back to playing.

“You should be with your family around this time,” Tatar continued. “It’s obviously really hard. That’s why I’m happy to be back here. Home was kind of depressing. The weather, then with what happened, it was really kind of greyish. I’m happy I’m back. My brothers will take care of everything back at home, they’ll help my mom and I’ll try to get them all over here just to be here and forget about what happened at home.”

Tatar got back in time to watch some of the Wings’ 1-0 loss on the road against the New York Rangers.

“I’m real tired with all the travel and time change, but it won’t be an excuse for me,” Tatar said. “I’m getting ready for the game and doing everything I can to be the best. It’s easier to forget this way when I have something to do. I’ve got great people around me. This will stay in my mind for a little awhile. This is going to help me.”

The Wings have not scored a goal in back-to-back games, losing 1-0 to the Rangers on Thursday and 1-0 at Anaheim on Sunday.

It’s just the second time in team history the Wings have suffered back-to-back 1-0 losses in the regular season. The other time was Nov. 11 and 13, 1954, when they were blanked in both games by the Toronto Maple Leafs.

Detroit did get hand back-to-back 1-0 losses in the playoffs – May 1 and 3, 2004 to the Calgary Flames.

Midseason Grades: Despite injuries and lack of success on home ice, Wings remain in playoff picture

DETROIT – The Detroit Red Wings have reached the halfway point of the 2013-14 season and there are two noticeable trends they hope change in the second half – injuries and lack of success on home ice.

Just when the injury bug seems to be behind them, the Wings are back recalling players from Grand Rapids.

Currently seven players – Darren Helm (groin/shoulder), Stephen Weiss (hernia), Danny DeKeyser (groin), Pavel Datsyuk (lower-body injury), Jonathan Ericsson (ribs), Johan Franzen (concussion) and Jonas Gustavsson (groin) – are on the shelf.

Then there’s the Wings’ inability to win on home ice, where they’re 6-10-7 so far.

“We’ve obviously played a lot better on the road than at home,” Daniel Cleary said. “It’s weird how that goes sometimes. I don’t have an answer for that. We (recently won) 23 in a row at home and next thing you know we’re 6-10-7, obviously that’s not good enough.”

Conversely, Detroit is 13-4-3 on the road.

“Sporadic,” Cleary said when asked to describe how team has played in the first half of the season. “We had a lot of blown opportunities. We’ve been with the injury bug for a little bit, probably more than a little bit. We obviously have to get going here.

“We’ve played well in a couple game spurts and then we have a game that’s just kind of in the dumps,” Cleary continued. “Then we start over again. We need to get a run together. There were times when we played very well and weren’t winning and then when we got it back we maybe we only keep it together one or two games. We thought we had it going pretty good and then the (New York) Islanders came in here and laid it to us. For our standards and how we play, our system and personnel we have it’s just not up to par for us. The onus falls on the players.”

Heading into play Sunday, Detroit is fourth in the Atlantic Division (19-14-10, 48 points) and sits in the top wild card spot in the Eastern Conference.

Here are the positional grades for the halfway point of the season.

Forwards: B (first quarter, B-)

The Wings have done enough to piece things together enough up front and find a bit of success.

Despite missing a good chunk of time, Henrik Zetterberg (14 goals, 22 assists), Datsyuk (15 goals, 17 assists) and Daniel Alfredsson (11 goals, 19 assists) continue to lead the team in scoring.

The concussion Franzen suffered came when the power forward seemed to be getting his offensive touch back.

And then there’s Helm who continues to have no luck when it comes to injuries. He’s played just 16 games this season.

Perhaps we’ve learned why things haven’t been going so well for Weiss, who has two goals and two assists, after having to undergo sports hernia surgery. He’s expected to return after the Olympic break.

Daniel Cleary, who got a one-year deal worth $1.75 million from the Wings a day into training camp, appears to have found his game in the New Year. He’s logged over 17 minutes of ice time over the last two games and has looked like a threat offensively.

Tomas Tatar, who couldn’t find a regular role at the start of the season, is the bright spot of the crop of youngsters on the roster. He has eight goals and eight assists, which ranks him sixth on the team in points.

Luke Glendening and Tomas Jurco appear to have bright futures within the organization.

Defensemen: B+ (first quarter, B)

The Wings have had to play a majority of the season without two of their top three D-men – DeKeyser and Ericsson – in the lineup.

That gives guys like Brendan Smith, Kyle Quincey, Jakub Kindl and Brian Lashoff a bit of a pass since they have to fill more of a role than what they should be.

Those four are a combined minus-23. DeKeyser and Ericsson are a combined plus-10.

Recently called up Alexey Marchenko is a plus-2 after just one game.

Niklas Kronwall, who deserves an A+, is fourth on the team in scoring with four goals and 24 assists and is a plus-7.

Goalies: B- (first quarter, C+)

Jimmy Howard was simply spectacular in Saturday’s win over the Dallas Stars, making 44 saves.

That’s something the Wings need more of their Olympic-bound netminder, who is 7-9-8 with a 2.65 goals-against average and a .911 save percentage.

Gustavsson’s numbers as a backup are still impressive – 11-3-2; 2.39 GAA; .914 save percentage. But again it’s a matter of health with him, just like it was last season.

After winning his first game, Petr Mrazek has lost two straight.

Coaching: B- (first quarter, B+)

Hard to judge a coaching staff that has to deal with this many injured players, so the lack of success at home and the special teams units dip have to be looked at.

“We had higher hopes when the year started in terms of points at the midway mark,” Wings general manager Ken Holland said. “We’ve lost a number of points in shootouts, overtime. That’s a lot of points.

“We’ve been very good on the road, very disappointing at home,” Holland added. “We’ve played hard, we’ve been inconsistent, especially at home. We’re leaving points on the board. We haven’t really had our team together, it seems a lot like last year.”

The Wings power play has dipped the most. In the first half of the season it ranked seventh overall (21.5) and currently is 16th (18.2).

The penalty kill ranked fifth overall (86.1) in the first half and currently is seventh (85.3).

This and that … Datsyuk given day off; Babcock wants 100-plus points; Cleary glad HBO gone

DETROIT — Pavel Datsyuk, Darren Helm (groin) and Johan Franzen (concussion) didn’t practice Friday.

Wings coach Mike Babcock said Datsyuk was given a “maintenance day” and should be ready to go Saturday.

– Babcock on the team’s point total goal by season’s end, “100-plus. That’s the number I’m always looking for, 100-plus, but when you do the math, multiple it by two, we’ve got 46, so we’re eight short anyway you look at it, so we need to have a big second half.”

– Daniel Cleary is happy to be done with the HBO cameras in the room. “When you’re not winning you’re not in a great mood. When things aren’t going well on the ice it just sucks having someone in your face asking you questions. You try and be as polite as you can, but it was trying of sure. They’re good guys. They were great to have around. It’s a little different, the everyday thing.”

Cleary skating with an open nerve on his tooth; may have to play with it like that

ANN ARBOR – The plan was for Daniel Cleary to have an open nerve fixed on his tooth prior to the Wings’ outdoor practice, but it never came to fruition.

“My concern now is the wind on my tooth that has the exposed nerve,” Cleary said after practice. “I closed my mouth going one way.”

Cleary had planned on having the procedure done in the morning, but because he didn’t get to sleep until around 3 a.m. he decided against it.

He didn’t know if he would be able to get it fixed before Wednesday’s game.

“I don’t want to make a bigger deal than it is, but it’s uncomfortable to say the least,” Cleary said.