Trade him and we've got about 4 mil to spend on his replacement. I'd like to replace him with someone that brings a little more offensive ability to that third line. For 4 mil, we might even be able to get someone that hits and plays defense as well.
Bottom line, if we could replace Cleary with a 4 mil free agent...that third line is a real-deal threat (or we could get a little trickier, have flip center the third line...4 mil is a lot of money, we could get a 1st or 2nd line winger). We won't depend on our top two lines so much. If we're lucky, it might even make us a little more physical. And really, we're losing absolutely nothing. Homer has always been our first guy in front of the net, Bert is now our second. We've got Helm, Eaves, Miller and Abby who are all better than Cleary on the penalty-kill.
I love the guy...but he's become a little like Lapointe would have been for us if we had resigned him instead of losing him to Boston. He gets paid a lot. He doesn't do much for us that a min. salary guy does. It's a problem. Still, someone will probably take on his contract for draft picks...or...we could get real creative.
Edited by blueadams, 18 June 2010 - 01:14 PM.