Unrestricted free-agent forward Daniel Cleary will sign a contract with the Detroit Red Wings, according to Ansar Kahn of MLive.com Thursday morning. Kahn received text confirmation from Cleary stating that he will be traveling to the team's facility in Traverse City and will sign a contract on Thursday night.
Cleary had previously accepted a professional tryout contract with the Philadelphia Flyers but failed to report to the first day of training camp on Thursday. Elliotte Friedman of CBC reported on Wednesday that a complication had arose and that Cleary would not be joining the Flyers. Despite speculation regarding league intervention on the reported handshake agreement Philadelphia had reached with Cleary, reports indicated that the NHL was not responsible for the complication.
Red Wings manager Ken Holland stated on Thursday morning that he, Cleary and coach Mike Babcock had held a meeting on Wednesday to discuss Cleary's future with the Red Wings. All parties involved have consistently expressed mutual interest in keeping Cleary a member of the Detroit franchise. However, salary cap complications had previously kept the sides from reaching a new agreement, in addition to the team's depth at forward.
However, Holland says that Cleary still wanted to play for the Red Wings, via MLive.com:
"I've been in conversation with the Cleary camp all summer, more so the last 3-4 days,'' Holland said. "(Cleary's camp) reached out to us yesterday. Mike Babcock and I met with Dan. We'll see what happens in the next 24 hours.''
Holland said the team will not place a player on injured reserve to sign Cleary and would need to explore trade or waivers to make space. The potential still exists for him to sign a professional tryout contract, with the intention of signing him prior to the season.
Detroit now has 17 forwards coming to training camp. The team anticipates carrying 14 on opening night.