Date of Birth: 1978
Place of Birth: Carbonear, NL
Inducted: 2020 (Player Category)
Hockey Newfoundland and Labrador Hall of Famer Alex Faulkner, a former Detroit Red Wing, will always be remembered as the first Newfoundlander to play in the National Hockey League.
Another Red Wing, Daniel Cleary, will be remembered as the first Newfoundlander to win the Stanley Cup. That happened in 2008, when the Red Wings beat the Pittsburgh Penguins in a six-game final.
It was the highlight of a brilliant 17-year NHL career for the Riverhead, Harbour Grace native, one that saw him appear in 1,059 NHL games, most of any Newfoundlander, and register 439 career NHL points, again the standard of any hockey player from Newfoundland and Labrador.
Two hundred and seventy-five of those points were tallied whilst wearing the winged wheel, putting him 34th on Detroit’s all-time scoring list.
During a period in the late-2000s, when he put together three straight years of 40, 42 and 40 points, Cleary was regarded as one of the most complete players in the game. It’s why he was invited to Canada’s 2010 Olympic team summer evaluation camp.
Drafted 13th overall in 1997 by the Chicago Blackhawks, Cleary also played for the Edmonton Oilers and Phoenix Coyotes.
After coming to the Red Wings’ training camp on a professional tryout in 2005 following the 2004-05 NHL lockout, Cleary earned a contract and spent the next 10 seasons in Detroit.
Cleary is currently Detroit’s Assistant Director of Player Development to Shawn Horcoff, his former Edmonton teammate.