The Detroit Red Wings have had plenty of recognizable names through the years that all fans know and remember, but what about Daniel Cleary. Some fans may need a reminder for the ten-year member of the Red Wings straight from the vault of former players.
The Detroit Red Wings are last in the league right now, surging towards a lottery pick, and fans have to have lost some faith in the team. Take some time to look back on the Red Wings past, open up the vault of former players, and remember forward Daniel Cleary.
A ten-year member of the Red Wings may not have been a superstar, but fans will remember Cleary and his time with the organization.
Cleary did not only play for the Red Wings, but he had a seventeen-year career in the National Hockey League (NHL). He would start his career with the Chicago Blackhawks, where he played two seasons, followed by four seasons with the Edmonton Oilers, and then one season with the Phoenix (now Arizona) Coyotes before coming to the Red Wings.
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Cleary was a role player who would be a fifteen to twenty goal scorer who would provide production as a middle to bottom-six forward.
His tenure with the Red Wings began in 2005-06, where Steve Yzerman was still the captain of the team. He would also play alongside Pavel Datsyuk, Nicklas Lidstrom, Brenan Shanahan, and Henrik Zetterberg during his time with the Red Wings. Cleary also saw some of the more current Red Wings like Justin Abdelkader, Danny DeKeyser, and Luke Glendening during the end of his tenure in 2014-15 when he would finish out and retire.
Statistically, his best season would be in 2010-11, where he scored twenty-six goals and had twenty assists for forty-six points over sixty-eight NHL games. Cleary was no elite scorer, but the 6-foot-1 winger played a role for the Red Wings teams he played on.
He would also win a Stanley Cup Championship with the Red Wings in 2007-08 and, of course, be a part of the same Red Wings team that would lose to the Pittsburgh Penguins. Cleary had a six-year run from the 2006-07 season, where he scored forty points, up until the 2011-12 season, where he scored 33 points.
His stretch of thirty-plus points was from the ages of twenty-eight to thirty-three for Cleary. From the shortened lockout season on, Cleary would regress and ultimately wind up retired at the age of thirty-six.
Looking back, Cleary was no Datsyuk or Zetterberg, but he had a role hear for the Red Wings, and some fans took a liking to him during his ten years in the winged wheel uniform. Into the vault, Cleary is a perfect reminder of the old times, when the Detroit Red Wings were contenders, still making the playoffs year after year.