Dan in Real Life

The Detroit Free Press posted an article today on Charlie Buckets.

If you’re not familiar with that nickname for #11 Dan Cleary, you need to head over to the A2Y Glossary of terms to find this plus other wonderful little tidbits from “The 19”…

“Dan Cleary, the boy with the golden ticket. Wandering the streets of
dreary whatevertownBucketsgrewupin, not wanting to go home because Grampa Joe
wasn’t getting out of bed and yet another dinner of disgusting thick tasteless
soup awaited him. A sparkle in the gutter, a silver dollar. That
money could feed his family for a week! Oh, the turmoil. Tasty Wonka
chocolate and a chance at a trip every child in the world was hoping for, or
food on the Bucket table. Screw it. Grabbed it. Bought the bar.
Ripped it open. Golden Ticket. Hell yes.”

Basically this is a metaphor for Cleary’s career in the NHL. During his junior years, he was hyped as the second coming of Eric Lindros. Drafted 13th overall in 1997 by the hated Chicago Blackhawks, he spent time with ‘Hawks, Oilers, and Coyotes and never amounted to much. Cleary nearly gave up on pro hockey, if not for the insistence from his wife, Jelena, to stick it out and get back into shape. Ken Holland offered him an open tryout for the Wings in 2005…he was signed on October 4th (happy birthday, sis) thus getting his proverbial “golden ticket”.

By the way, Cleary signed a 5 year extension in March of 2008, he became the first “Newfie” in history to win the Cup three months later.

Well that wonderful muse of inspiration, Jelena Cleary gave birth to a second daughter this summer and thus Dan has spent the off-season in “the D” instead of Newfoundland or California.

Dan along with Kirk Maltby will be participating in this week’s Buick Open in Grand Blanc. Cleary said he’ll be the better Wing.

Well congrats, Dan and good luck…at golf and raising two little girls.

He talks about Hudler as well, but I’m not going to get into that, read it if you want to know what he has to say, (Hint: Cleary is a class act.)

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