Is anyone really surprised? We all knew this was coming, Cleary was a waste of a roster spot for just the past 2 seasons.
The Red Wings loyalty rewards program clearly states you must be a waste of a roster spot for a minimum of 3 seasons before the Wings will consider not resigning you.
Exactly, the writing was on the wall for this signing since last summer.
As Holland said about Cleary at training camp "at some point and time as the season wears on or next summer, we'll try to find a way to keep him in a Red Wing uniform for longer than a year." http://www.youtube.c...h?v=mG6LST7PPLc
I'm a bit surprised they needed to bother with a bonus - 1 year at 1 million should've been plenty. I agree with Holland that Cleary could be a solid depth player if he's healthy, but agree with pretty much every fan that this will be regrettable if it results in a better player sitting on the bench or in the minors (e.g. Jurco, Ferraro, Callahan). I recall reading that Callahan would be happy to re-sign with GR to continue to work on his game, so if Alfie does not re-sign, perhaps it will only be Ferraro left in the lurch. The good news is that Cleary's deal is only 1 year, so that gives more flexibility moving forward.