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Catching up with Dan Cleary

Wednesday, 10.5.2005 / 12:00 AM ET / News
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Catching up with Dan Cleary
The Red Wings open the season tonight with a number of new faces in the lineup, including 26-year-old Dan Cleary, who signed a one-year deal Tuesday.

The 13th overall pick by the Blackhawks in the 1997 Entry Draft has seen action in the pros since his rookie season. After two years in Chicago he was dealt to Edmonton and enjoyed his best season in 2000-01, tallying 35 points in 81 games.

After four seasons in Edmonton, Cleary moved to Phoenix for the 2003-04 campaign. He came into camp on a tryout basis and impressed the coaching staff enough the win a spot on the Wings roster.

DetroitRedWings.com had a chance to catch up with Cleary today and talk about his role in Detroit.

DRW.com: Take us from August when you were invited to camp until now.

Cleary: Well the whole process, once I found out that Phoenix was going to go a different direction with me, I obviously was trying to find the right situation. I trained over the summer with (Chris) Chelios and (Mathieu) Schneider so that was one of the big reasons. Schneider is a huge fan of Detroit and a huge fan of me so that was one of the things that got me in the door here. I came into camp with an open mind and a good work ethic and made the team.

DRW.com: Was that your attitude heading into training camp? It was apparent that were a few roster spots open on the team. Was that at the back of your mind when you came in?

Cleary: Obviously yeah it was in the back of my mind. There were obviously a lot of players at camp who wanted to make the team as well, and I just tried to work as hard as I could and I always knew I had the skills to play. I've played the last six or seven years so I knew I could do it. It's just a question of being focused mentally and physically ready and I was, and that's a big reason why I made (the team)."

DRW.com: Were there any times during the preseason when you knew that things were going well for you and that you might win one of the open roster spots?

Cleary: Well, I played eight games out of nine preseason game, me and (Johan) Franzen, so we had a lot of opportunity and I felt good from the drop of the puck in game one and I just knew that things take care of themselves if you're ready physically and mentally. I knew that they would. I just went out and did what I do best and I'm very, very excited. When they told me I made the team it was like it was back when I was 18 trying out for my first team so it was pretty exciting.

DRW.com: Your thoughts on opening night and the opening of the new NHL season?

Cleary: It's cool every night, every season, but tonight with all 30 teams in action for the first time in history I just think that this whole year is going to be different for everyone, even players, everybody. I think it's just a new feel for hockey, and it's been a long time coming, to be honest. I'm excited. If I was a fan I'd be excited. I mean with all the different movement in the league, different faces, different teams, it's just exciting. The rule changes, it's just so fast, it's going to be great for fans.

SCHEDULE

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STANDINGS

EASTERN CONFERENCE
  TEAM GP W L OT GF GA PTS
1 p - WSH 82 56 18 8 252 193 120
2 x - PIT 82 48 26 8 245 203 104
3 y - FLA 82 47 26 9 239 203 103
4 x - NYR 82 46 27 9 236 217 101
5 x - NYI 82 45 27 10 232 216 100
6 x - TBL 82 46 31 5 227 201 97
7 x - PHI 82 41 27 14 214 218 96
8 x - DET 82 41 30 11 211 224 93
9 BOS 82 42 31 9 240 230 93
10 CAR 82 35 31 16 198 226 86
11 OTT 82 38 35 9 236 247 85
12 NJD 82 38 36 8 184 208 84
13 MTL 82 38 38 6 221 236 82
14 BUF 82 35 36 11 201 222 81
15 CBJ 82 34 40 8 219 252 76
16 TOR 82 29 42 11 198 246 69

STATS

2015-2016 REGULAR SEASON
SKATERS: GP G A +/- Pts
H. Zetterberg 82 13 37 -15 50
P. Datsyuk 66 16 33 7 49
D. Larkin 80 23 22 11 45
T. Tatar 81 21 24 4 45
G. Nyquist 82 17 26 -2 43
J. Abdelkader 82 19 23 -16 42
M. Green 74 7 28 -6 35
B. Richards 68 10 18 4 28
D. Helm 77 13 13 -2 26
N. Kronwall 64 3 23 -21 26
 
GOALIES: W L OT Sv% GAA
P. Mrazek 27 16 6 .921 2.33
J. Howard 14 14 5 .906 2.80