It's been a rough few years for Detroit Red Wings veteran Daniel Cleary, and after last season the writing seemed to be on the wall for the end of his professional hockey career.
Despite signing a deal with Detroit last year, the team immediately placed him on waivers and he spent his entire 2015-2016 campaign as a member of the American Hockey League's Grand Rapids Griffins, in fact Clearly has just appeared in 17 NHL games over the last two seasons. Despite that he says he's not ready to call it quits.
“I really enjoyed what I did last season, being in that role, helping the young kids grow into being future Red Wings,” Cleary said as per The Detroit News. “I’m training to do that (playing). It took me a few days (after being sent down), but after I settled into it, I really enjoyed the experience in Grand Rapids. It’s a great coaching staff, great group of guys, great training staff.
“It was a lot of fun, and I still want to play. The thing is, though, is can this body hold up over the course of a season? But I feel I can help mentor young players, and show them what it takes to play in the NHL.”
Cleary says he's a Red Wing through and through, and it sounds like that even when he's done playing, whenever that may be, he would want to take on a coaching or scouting role within the organization.