Cleary had previously agreed to a professional tryout contract with the club that eventually would have led to a three-year, $8.25 million agreement to be signed in October. However, Elliotte Friedman of CBC first reported on Wednesday afternoon that a complication had arisen with the deal and Cleary would not be joining the Flyers. As of this writing, the extent of that complication has not come to light.
TSN's Aaron Ward reported on Wednesday that a meeting had taken place between Cleary, Detroit Red Wings manager Ken Holland and head coach Mike Babcock. Cleary had spent the past eight seasons with the Red Wings and expressed a desire to remain with the club (Babcock and Holland have expressed a mutual desire). However, Detroit has a considerable amount of depth at forward, in addition to a limited amount of cap space to work with (the latter being the bigger of the two issues).
Holland had previously stated that he presented multiple offers to Cleary over the offseason but was unable to present a proposal the two sides could agree upon. Whether the Red Wings have re-emerged as a suitor for Cleary remains to be seen but seems likely.
Detroit is entering camp with 16 prospective forwards and expects to carry 14 on the opening night roster.
Philadelphia manager Paul Holmgren stated on Wednesday that he expected Cleary to be in camp and had no indication otherwise. He has yet to comment further on the situation.