Detroit Red Wings have released veteran forward Dan Cleary from his PTO, seemingly ending the club’s long association with the player.
Cleary was among eleven players cut from the Red Wings roster on Saturday, with the 37-year-old now set to join the the training camp of the AHL Grand Rapids Griffins.
Originally selected in the first round (13th overall) of the 1997 NHL Entry Draft by Chicago, Cleary featured in 938 career NHL games for the Blackhawks, Edmonton Oilers, Phoenix Coyotes and Red Wings, registering 165 goals and 387 points during that span.
Through 121 career play-off games, the Carbonear, Newfoundlands native scored 24 goal and 52 points and won the Stanley Cup with Detroit in 2008, returning to the Final again twelve months later where the Red Wings were beaten in seven games by Pittsburgh.
In all, he spent eleven years with the Red Wings organisation. He featured in ten NHL seasons for the club, but failed to make the roster last season after signing a one-year deal in the fall. He was eventually re-assigned to Grand Rapids where he played 35 AHL games, scoring three goals and 15 points.
Once a tenacious, versatile forward, there was some surprise when the Red Wings brought the ageing forward back last season, with Cleary showing signs of steep decline in recent years.
That he returned against this year on a PTO was an even bigger surprise, and while it is possible he still finds a role with the Griffins again this season, the wider signs suggest this may be the end of the road for Cleary.