Blogs > Red Wings Corner

Up-to-the minute updates and insights from the Red Wings locker room at home and on the road. By Chuck Pleiness of The Macomb Daily.

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Holland speaks about Cleary

Here's an unedited transcription of quotes from general manager Ken Holland about the Dan Cleary signing -- five years, $14 million, with 3 1/2 years of no-trade.

-- It started a little bit in training camp. We've gone back and forth the past two or three weeks, got close enough to where we could make a deal.
We really think he's just getting better and better. His career's going to take steps forward.
-- We found a way to get a deal done.
-- He's a great story for us. We happened to find him at the right time. He was just maturing. Part of us signing him to a long-term deal is you look at his history. He was a real top junior. He was a top-15 pick in the (NHL) draft. He was a leading scorer in junior.
-- He came in, he was looking for a job. He won over Mike Babcock the first year by being a good penalty killer.
-- We wanted to lock him up long-term. We're talking a little higher base and shorter term. Cap number is important to us. This makes the cap number a little lower and he got term and security.
-- Heading into this summer, he was a key guy. We talked about if you don't get him signed, how do you replace him. He's playing 17-18 minutes a night. He's killing penalties, he's on the power play. He does a lot of things for us. How do you replace him?
-- If you look at players who have 40 points in 58 games, they're getting salaries in the mid-threes ($3 million).
-- Basically, the trade-off is "I like it here. I want to be here. I'll take less money, but in return I want to know I'm signing to be here." I think the no-trade for me is about knowing he's mature, he's committed … so I don't have a problem with the no-trade.
-- We both know on the open market July 1, he's getting more money that we offered.
If you hit the July 1 market, you're negotiating with 29 other teams.

-- I don't know if we're going to do anything the rest of the way (before July 1). We've probably 10 defensemen we're real comfortable with right now, so we've got the rest of the year to evaluate where we're going.

On potential free agent Andreas Lilja -- I've had no talks with Lilja's agents in a month. I told them I'm prepared to wait 'til the end of the year. If they're comfortable, I'm comfortable.


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