DETROIT – Daniel Cleary was back at Joe Louis Arena Monday skating in preparation for training camp.
The question still remains what team’s training camp he’ll be attending.
“I’m talking to two teams,” Cleary said. “It’s not an easy decision to make. I’ve got to try and come up with something today and figure out what I’m going to do. I’ve got some options, just need to figure it out.”
Cleary said last Friday that he wanted to make his decision on Sunday.
“I’ve got options, guaranteed contracts to go with other teams so that’s what I’ve got to make a decision on,” Cleary said. “I talked to Kenny (Holland) last night, talked to (Wings coach Mike Babcock). Everyone knows the situation and I do too, I know it very well actually. We all want the same thing it’s just going to be hard to do.”
Holland has extended Cleary an invitation to training camp on a pro tryout, but with no guarantee of a contract. Coincidently, that’s how he began his career in Detroit in 2005.
One thing is for sure and that’s Cleary won’t be heading to Traverse City without a deal in place or a guarantee of one once training camp is over.
“I want to go,” Cleary said. “I want to be a part of it. It’s hard for me to talk about the situation in terms of these other teams. I’m calling Kenny today so we’ll see.
“You know I’d love to (be here),” Cleary added. “There’s nothing like being a Red Wing. It’s hard to put a deadline on it. I’ve got a situation I need to make a decision on that’s for sure.”
The 34-year-old forward was offered a deal by the Wings on July 3 that wasn’t what he felt he deserved.
“It wasn’t felt I felt I deserved,” Cleary said. “The offers I have today are a lot better so I don’t regret it at all.”
When Cleary turned down the offer Detroit began shopping and inked Daniel Alfredsson and Stephen Weiss to deals on the first day free agents could sign.
They also re-signed forwards Drew Miller, Joakim Andersson and Gustav Nyquist. That gives the Wings 16 forwards under contract for next season.
The Wings are already two over the roster limit of 23 as they head into training camp next week in Traverse City and $637,000 over the salary cap.
Cleary, who had nine goals and six assists in 48 games during the lockout-shortened season last year, has flourished since he joined the Wings for the 2005-06 season.
He’s spent eight seasons in Detroit and has reached the 20-goal plateau three times.
He was also the team’s second leading scorer in last year’s playoffs with four goals and six assists in 10 games.
“I would like to make a decision Sunday,” Cleary said. “I’ve got a great deal right now I can take. But I don’t even … I don’t know.”
Cleary was a first round draft pick, 13th overall, by the Chicago Blackhawks in the 1997 NHL Entry Draft.