The Grand Rapids Griffins and veteran forward Daniel Cleary agreed to a 1-year deal on the same day the Detroit Red Wings hit the ice to begin Training Camp in preparation for the 2016-2017 season.
The 19-year pro spent most of the 2015-2016 season with the Griffins. Cleary tallied 15 points (3-12-15) in 35 games. He also played in all 9 Griffins playoff games and spent 6 minutes in the penalty box.
Cleary has played in 1,121 professional hockey games participating in the NHL, AHL, IHL, as well as the Swedish Elite League. 938 of those games played have been in the NHL.
Cleary was drafted in the First round of the 1997 NHL Draft by the Chicago Blackhawks. He has collected 387 career points (165-227-387) and has spent 492 minutes in the penalty box. During his time in the NHL, Cleary suited up for the Chicago Blackhawks, Edmonton Oilers, Phoenix (Arizona) Coyotes, and the Detroit Red Wings. He has also played in 121 career playoff games and chipped in 52 points (24-28-52).
He joined the Red Wings in 2005 when he signed as a free agent. In playing 609 games with Detroit, he had 275 points and 299 PIM. Cleary was a part of the 2008 team that won the Stanley Cup and he had 3 points (2-1-3) over 22 playoff games.
Cleary was a staple in the Griffins locker room last season. He is likely a candidate to replace Jeff Hoggan as the Captain. Cleary was a veteran that many young players in Grand Rapids were able to lean on. It can be expected that he will be in a mentor role where he will be helping the development of young players such as Tyler Bertuzzi and Evgeny Svechnikov.
The puck drops on the Griffins season on Friday October 14 when they host their divisional foe Chicago Wolves.
Stats Credit: http://www.hockeydb.com/ihdb/stats/pdisplay.php?pid=19301