This illustrates the fact that we have become too reliant on plugs. I hate to sound like I am part of the negative parade, but Cleary is like Scott Gomez out there. It sucks to bench a guy who is trying hard, but Babcock needs to be realistic.
Out bottom 6 lacks an identity, and this team doesn't have lines. It's a problem. For six spots on the bottom two lines we have:
Cleary, Helm, Abdelkader, Miller, Eaves, Tootoo, Emmerton, Nyquist, Sammy. Most play similar styles. Get rid of Cleary and Emmerton, drop one of Miller or Eaves (I hate to say it, its nothing against them, but they've always been similar on what they bring to the team) and bring in a faceoff specialist.
And Babcock is pretty bad at assembling lines. Datsyuk and Bertuzzi should never be separated, neither should Franzen and Zetterberg. Those lines are tge closest to having a reliable identity.
Flip is a goner, I think. He nets us a decent return. Not ideal, but he's the only roster player we have who anyone might want and who we could find a way to survive without.
They won't trade Flip. He's one of the hardest working players on the team. He's also our 3rd best forward. Trading him, especially for the cap hit he is would be a bad idea. We need more offense, and I doubt we'll get more back from a trade then what we'll lose.