TRAVERSE CITY -- Dan Cleary admits he hasn't been able to forget last season's disappointing loss to Pittsburgh in the Stanley Cup finals.
But the Red Wings forward thinks a remedy is at hand.
"I think the best solution is to get back on the ice and get going again," he said.
The Wings will do just that today, starting a brief three-day training camp at Centre ICE. Players took their physicals Saturday.
Detroit came within a victory of defending its Stanley Cup championship last season, losing a decisive seventh game at Joe Louis Arena to the Pittsburgh Penguins. The Wings were trying to become the first National Hockey League team to win back-to-back titles since they accomplished the feat in 1998.
"As summer went along, it got tougher and tougher when you realized how close we were to winning it," goalie Chris Osgood said. "I wouldn't say it was frustrating because we're proud of how far we went and what we accomplished. But just the fact we came so close and didn't win it was disappointing."
Red Wings coach Mike Babcock said he's eager to start camp -- and dispel any notions the team is on the decline after taking some free agent hits in the off-season.
As for last season's Stanley Cup final, Babcock said he's put that behind him, even though he acknowledged others haven't.
"A guy I've known for a long time comes over to my lake place," he said. "This is August. He's going on and on about how tough it's been on him. I thought there was a death in the family. I thought, 'Did my wife tell me something (about him) and I didn't remember?' Well, he's talking about getting over last year. My wife gave me two days to sulk, then told me to get on with my life.
"I couldn't have been any prouder of the team last year," he added. "I thought we really pushed it in the second half of the year. We were beat up as bad as any team I've ever coached. Guys found a way to keep dressing, keep playing, keep trying. We gave ourselves a chance.
"I thought we were the kind of team Michigan could be proud of. We kept coming every day, doing what you expect a good team to do. For me, I don't see it like that. I see it as a fantastic year. They're going to hang a banner that says we're the Western Conference champions -- I think they still do that -- and to me that's significant. We've been in the final four the last three years, the final two the last two. We've won the Cup once. We've won 213 games, I believe, in the last four years. That's more (wins) than anybody in hockey. I like where we're at."