Red Wings Player Development Assistant
begins his second season in Detroit's front-office after transitioning
to a player development role prior to the 2017-18 season following a
19-year professional hockey career. In his new role, Cleary works
closely with director of player development Shawn Horcoff to evaluate,
coach and mentor Detroit's prospects playing in major junior leagues and
collegiate teams throughout North America, as well as Europe and the
Red Wings' developmental affiliates in Grand Rapids (AHL) and Toledo
Cleary, 39, has been with the Red Wings organization since 2005-06. Formerly a first-round pick (13th overall) of the Chicago Blackhawks in the 1997 NHL Entry Draft, Cleary spent the first eight years of his professional career between the Blackhawks, Edmonton Oilers and Phoenix Coyotes, as well as the AHL's Portland Pirates and Hamilton Bulldogs, IHL's Indianapolis Ice and one season with Mora IK in the Swedish Elite League. After coming to Red Wings training camp as a professional tryout, Cleary earned a contract and spent the next 10 seasons with the Red Wings, highlighted by three 20-goal seasons and a Stanley Cup championship in 2008.
After spending two seasons with the Grand Rapids Griffins from 2015-17, Cleary ended his playing career with 387 points (165-222-387) and 492 penalty minutes in 938 NHL games, in addition to 119 points (36-83-119) and 203 penalty minutes in 136 career AHL and IHL games. Cleary continues to reside in Bloomfield Hills with wife, Jelena, and daughters, Elle and Lola.