Is Danny Cleary Odd Man Out Tomorrow Night?

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Remember the feel-good story that was free agent Danny Cleary’s return to the Red Wings, when he was all but set to fly to Philadelphia and become a Flyer?

Remember when Cleary just couldn’t pull the trigger on guaranteed money in Philly, and drove to Traverse City on his own dime and talked the Red Wings into bringing him back, for far less dough than he would have gotten from the Flyers?

About that.

The Flyers may be thanking their lucky stars that Cleary didn’t take their 3-year, $8.25 million offer, after all.

Because it looks like Cleary might be a healthy scratch for Tuesday’s home game against Winnipeg.

According to Ted Kulfan of the Detroit NewsCleary skated at practice today with extras Jordin Tootoo and Patrick Eaves, indicating that Cleary might be a healthy scratch against the Jets.

While coach Mike Babcock was non-committal about the scratch, he did say this about Cleary, as quoted by Kulfan.

“I just think for a guy of his hockey sense and ability he has to be a factor every night, and I don’t see that,” said Babcock in his typical, “no spin zone” way.

Cleary’s take?

“Stay positive and work hard,” he told the media after practice.

Cleary has one goal and two assists in 18 games this season, proof that feel-good stories in training camp don’t always feel so good once the games start to count for real.

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Skating the Stanley Cup Around the Ice Began With Terrible Ted

It’s one of the richest traditions in all of sports. The NHL uses video of it in countless promos, culled from decades of occurrences.

It’s the skating around the ice of the Stanley Cup, which is something I actually got to experience first hand in 2009, as I covered the Cup Finals and was on the ice when the Pittsburgh Penguins celebrated at JLA. Yeah, I got hit with some champagne during the festivities!

But it was Ted Lindsay, old Terrible Ted himself, who started the tradition, in the 1950s.

Teddy told me all about it in 2006, before we engaged in a hockey roundtable for the magazine I was working for at the time.

I had made mention of skating the Cup around, casually, making small talk with Johnny Wilson, who was also on the roundtable.

“I started that!” Lindsay chimed in.

Do tell.

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“Up to that point, Clarence Campbell (then NHL president) would give the captain the Cup and the teams would just skate off the ice with it. They put the Cup on a folding table, you snapped a few pictures and that was it.”

Ted didn’t think that was right.

“I thought the fans should be a part of it,” Lindsay told me. “So it was just an impulsive decision. I didn’t plan it. Campbell gave me the Cup and instead of skating to the dressing room, I skated it around, holding the Cup for the fans at Olympia to see.”

Nice.

“Campbell wasn’t too happy with me, but I didn’t care,” Lindsay said, smiling that familiar, scar-faced smile.

Lindsay didn’t care about much when he played—other than winning.

Atlantic Division Standings, Red Wings Stats (11-11-13 A.M.)

Eastern Conference GP W L OL PTS GF GA
Atlantic Division
Tampa Bay Lightning 16 12 4 0 24 54 39
Toronto Maple Leafs 17 11 6 0 22 51 40
Detroit Red Wings 18 9 5 4 22 45 48
Boston Bruins 16 10 5 1 21 45 30
Montreal Canadiens 18 9 8 1 19 48 40
Ottawa Senators 17 7 6 4 18 53 51
Florida Panthers 18 3 11 4 10 37 64
Buffalo Sabres 19 3 15 1 7 33 61

RED WINGS STATS (thru 18 games)

Player Pos GP G A PTS +/- PIM
Henrik Zetterberg LW 18 10 10 20 12 4
Pavel Datsyuk C 18 7 11 18 11 6
Daniel Alfredsson RW 18 3 10 13 2 6
Niklas Kronwall D 16 1 9 10 9 14
Todd Bertuzzi RW 18 5 4 9 1 10
Joakim Andersson C 18 3 3 6 -5 2
Justin Abdelkader LW 18 2 4 6 0 4
Danny DeKeyser D 18 1 5 6 6 10
Jakub Kindl D 18 1 5 6 -4 6
Johan Franzen C 13 2 3 5 -2 8
Tomas Tatar LW 10 2 1 3 1 0
Stephen Weiss C 17 2 1 3 -3 6
Dan Cleary RW 18 1 2 3 1 8
Jonathan Ericsson D 9 1 2 3 4 8
Kyle Quincey D 18 0 3 3 -9 14
Drew Miller LW 18 1 1 2 -9 7
Adam Almqvist D 2 1 0 1 -1 0
Darren Helm C 4 1 0 1 -2 0
Mikael Samuelsson RW 6 1 0 1 -1 2
Cory Emmerton C 4 0 1 1 0 2
Brian Lashoff D 14 0 1 1 0 10
Brendan Smith D 11 0 1 1 -7 19
Patrick Eaves RW 3 0 0 0 -2 0
Luke Glendening C 7 0 0 0 -3 2
Jonas Gustavsson G 4 0 0 0 0
Jimmy Howard G 14 0 0 0 0
Petr Mrazek G 1 0 0 0 0
Xavier Ouellet D 2 0 0 0 0 0
Jordin Tootoo RW 8 0 0 0 -4 5
Team Total 18 45 77 122 -5 153
Player GP W L T/O SA SV SV% GAA SO
Jimmy Howard 14 5 5 4 414 377 0.911 2.74 1
Jonas Gustavsson 4 3 0 0 127 119 0.937 2.12 0
Petr Mrazek 1 1 0 0 14 14 1 0 1
Team Total 18 9 5 4 555 510 0.919 2.46 2