I think Abby has shown that he can take over Cleary's role- I don't see where the Wings have room for Cleary.
Dan Cleary had an awesome time in Detroit. Resurrected a non career,;knocked Phanuef all the way back to Ontario; stood up to Chris Prongber; was key in a Cup victory; heart and soul player that gave it his all, exactly what you want players to do in the playoffs.
"Competitive monopoly" is a rather unique situation that appears in sports more so than other areas of the marketplace. I haven't seen anyone post about it yet, but it's really a big reason on why UFA prices can be so ridiculous.
For example; While there may be five 2C's that are capable of 25 goals 35 assists per year, there is only one Vinny Lecavalier.
If you want a Vinny Lecavalier on your team, the local Sporting goods store does not have five Vinny Lecavaliers on the shelf. There is only one in all of the world.
You could buy a Weiss or a Filp instead, but its not the same as a Vinny. Vinny Lecavalier has a monopoly on Vinny Lecavalier's. If you want one, you are going to have to bid against everyone else that wants one too.
When you have a monopoly on something,you are a price maker, not a price taker.
The salary cap was meant to level the playing field in regards to acquisition powers. It has proven to be kryptonite to Illitches checkbook and has taken the Mickey out of Hollands off-season. He has chosen not to overpay during UFA season. And I can't blame him. There is only so much pie to slice up for your team.
UFA's will be inherently over priced because demand is high and supply is low. They will ruin the salary structure of your team, and quite possibly the attitude of the room.
We all know that Holland and Illitch understood after the '05 CBA that prices for UFA's would be waaaay hyper inflated and therefore went to a philosophy of building a team through the draft.
As you see, Wings fans are having a difficult time living on a budget when we never had to before. We can't handle not buying every Lecavalier and Horton that we see become available, like the good ole days of buying up a Lucky Luc and having no room for him except on the 4rth line.
That is one reason winning the Calder Cup was so significant.
If you're an impending UFA and look around at the type of money paid to other guys that you know you're better than, I don't know how you can consider it greed. Players around Flip's age have to lock down that one big deal to make the bulk of the money they'll make in their lifetime. Logic and reason tell you that with the cap going down, players like Filppula can't be paid $5.5 mil per year, but experience tells you that somebody will pay that, or close to it. Crap, teams like Phoenix, Columbus, etc. need to hand out a bad contract or two just to stay over the salary floor!
Have you ever left a job voluntarily that you weren't fired from? I suspect most people have (or have considered it), and some people consider doing it on almost an annual basis. Did you feel like a greedy traitor knowing that somebody else had to take over your work and clean your mess up so you could go earn a little more money somewhere else?
And, while he has done well and is a valuable part of the team here, he has not flourished. It is not like Federov's situation; he will go on to enjoy success and hopefully get a good payday. He may blossom a bit with a change of scenery.
I appreciate all that you have done here and really enjoyed watching you play, but the time has come.