Reports have come out late Monday night that the team signed unrestricted free agent Dan Cleary to a three-year, $8.25 million deal.
If you’re first thoughts as a Flyers fans are not, “What about Gagne?” they are probably “wait, what?”
The Flyers have been pretty quiet this offseason, but it didn’t feel like they really needed to do much. Fans have been waiting around all summer to see if Gagne will be back, but it appears that is impossible. The Cleary signing means that the Flyers have hit the maximum number of contracts they are allowed to have on their roster. They have also just signed prospect Taylor Leier, so in technical terms they are over the max contract allotment. In order for the Cleary signing to be official, the Flyers will need to trade someone away to the Detroit Red Wings. Cleary signing with the Flyers has not been officially announced and the deal won’t go into effect until the end of the month.
Cleary played most recently with the Red Wings and logged 15 points, nine goals and six assists during the shortened 2012-2013 NHL season.
Cleary’s role on the team will be similar to Mike Knuble‘s role on the team last season. So why would the Flyers want to sign a third line player over inviting Gagne to camp or even giving top prospects Scott Laughton or Jason Akeson a spot on the team? Because it’s the Flyers, and they make really dumb roster decisions. Although, there is a silver lining to this questionable signing; at least Cleary’s not a defenseman.