The Philadelphia Flyers have been busy in the past couple of days. After reports were coming in that the team had already signed Detroit Red Wings‘ unrestricted free agent Dan Cleary, the team announced that he has yet to sign, but he has been invited to camp and been given a Pro Tryout. Red Wings beat writer Helene St. James broke the story, so it is likely that he will sign with the team, just not yet. Flyers general manager Paul Holmgren has also come out and said that the deal is not done yet.
Although Cleary has not yet signed with the Flyers, the team’s 2012 draft pick Taylor Leier has. The team signing Leier technically doesn’t count against their 50 contract maximum, because it is a slide rule contract since Leier will continue to play in the juniors. The Flyers are very interested in Leier, which is why they decided to lock him down so eventually they can bring him up. Although, with how the team keeps heading toward older players, it might take a few years.
The left winger is about to enter his third season with the Portland Winterhawks of the Western Hockey League, where he has already had a pretty successful career, helping the team to the WHL final and to a spot in the Memorial Cup. In his 136 games with the team, he has logged 99 points, 40 goals and 59 assists. He also has only 99 PIMs, which is something the Flyers really need to look at when considering where to place their prospects.
Leier is not likely to get a start with the pro team for a few years, but having him in the system will be good for the team in the long run.