As the summer days stretch out and the warmth of the sun, holidays and lack of hockey news begins to impact our ability to keep track of the day-to-day, it’s important to remember there are holes in the Oilers and available free agents. Those free agents are currently weighing job opportunities with salary demands, and another two weeks of unemployment will probably mean these players are finding new homes for 2013-14. One player of interest to the Oilers may be Daniel Cleary. 


(Photo by Michael Barera)

Not so. According to this article, the Red Wings have no money left to spend on free agents. 

  • Holland said the Red Wings are "capped out," meaning their roster is pretty much set. He still has to re-sign restricted free agents Joakim Andersson and Gustacv Nyquist, which will give Detroit 16 forwards under contract. He said he made contract offers to Daniel Cleary and Damien Brunner prior to July 5, but they were turned down, and the Red Wings instead signed Daniel Alfredsson and Stephen Weiss. 

Cleary is 34, has good speed and his offense runs hot and cold. They key element for the Oilers is that he’s well schooled in the ‘it’s what you leave" part of the NHL business and could step right in on a Boyd Gordon line. The Oilers current group of wingers who may slot in offer a mixed bag of scoring (Ryan Jones), passing (Ryan Smyth remains a dynamite passer deep into his 30’s–what a sublime talent) and a full bag of injury potential. 

Cleary might be a useful, and inexpensive addition.


The funny thing about life is that circumstances change. Daniel Cleary once gave major credit to Craig MacTavish for helping him grow as a player, and now Cleary may be able to return the favor by serving as mentor to some young, role playing Oilers. Is there anyone–anyone–who truly believes a player like Anton Lander wouldn’t be wiser after a season with Cleary on his wing? Or what about Jesse Joensuu, who has been wandering in the professional wilderness that is the New York Islanders ‘system’–would he not benefit?

And Cleary too–a man looking for another NHL ticket–would certainly get plenty of work this winter. 


We’re all just checking twitter, email and snail mail, hoping for news. Hey, maybe Kyle Clifford arrives today, and that would be cool. Still, there are useful players out there available for just money. 

I think Daniel Cleary would be a very useful addition to the Edmonton Oilers. 

Edit to Add: The Vollman Sledgehammer has Cleary in a nice district with good CorsiRel color. 

  • DSF

    Cleary would demonstrate ” good work ethic and hard on the puck type of play”. However he has a ton of miles on him. He shines during the playoffs, more so than the regular season, puts up strong points in the play offs.

    He would only be a short term fix, probably one year at best, as the Oil need to develop younger
    Cleary’s, building for their coming play off runs. He would be better suited for team looking for a longer playoff run.

    Clifford is a better choice, even though a young Cleary is miles ahead of Clifford.

  • shanetrain

    Cleary would be an excellent addition for this team!

    We need players like this for support. Guys who can still play at a high level in a defined role while also mentoring the kids.

  • DSF

    Ducks yes

    Hawks yes

    Blue Jackets yes

    Stars yes

    Wild yes

    Blues yes

    Avalanche yes

    Sharks yes

    Canucks yes

    Kings yes

    And yes, Vermette is a better hockey players than Gagner.

    Winning games is more than points.

  • 24% body fat

    DSF sorry wrong as usually. Maybe the Kings Sharks LA and Chicago. Colorado may have an argument. There are a lot of teams that Gagner would be the first line center.

    And Henrik Sedin is a one dimensional player. Soft Zone starts and sheltered, and yet you consider him elite. Well he does nothing more than gets dwindling point totals and play soft hockey. Lets see how he does starting in the defensive zone and harder minutes.

    Also Gagner for points totals is right there with the sedins at age and years into the NHL.