Before reading this post I will make you two promises.
I won’t mention how awful he Detroit Red Wings did during free agency (although I just did).
And I won’t mention that the Wings have a bunch of cap space and nothing to spend it on. (guilty again).
But neither of the “unmentioned factors” have anything to do with the Ken Hollands decision to sign Daniel Cleary to a one year contract.
The reason was loyalty and a promise made to Cleary when he signed with the Wings a year ago.
In order to sign with the Red Wings, Daniel Cleary had to walk away from a two-year $6 million offer from the Flyers. In order to entice Cleary to sign Holland promised another contact in 2014 if he could.
As it happens the Wings have some money to spend and so the promise was kept.
Although Cleary had a terrible season as a Red Wings last year, Holland told the Freep’s Helene St. James that this contract was about loyalty. A virtue he has built his team with.
General manager Ken Holland said the decision, “has more to do with last year. My program has been one of loyalty, and there’s good things and bad things that go with that. Way more good, in my opinion. I reached out to a lot of people before signing Dan, and he’s very popular in our organization and with our on-ice leaders.”
With very few new faces on the 2014 Red Wings this move could inspire loyalty from the players on the ice. If Cleary’s leadership ability is as advertised it could be of great benefit to a young core of players learning how to win. And winning is a concept the Red Wings will need their young players to grasp quickly if they hope to make another run at Lord Stanley’s Cup.