September 12, 2015
Ryane Clowe was a hard hitting middle-six forward who knew how to play the game only one way - all out. He overcame a plodding skating style to embrace a physical, up-and-down type winger - almost a throw-back to a previous era.
But he had the skills to do spot duty on a top line, and also on the power play. He was actually quite effective on the power play, using his size to make room for himself and his teammates. He was strong on the puck though a streaky scorer. At his best he was poor man's Joe Pavelski.
Unfortunately frequent concussions limited whatever glimpses of promise he showed. Concussions have now officially claimed his career.
In the span of roughly 19 months, Clowe suffered four separate head injuries which sidelined him for a combined 119 games. Clowe’s trouble with head injuries began in April 2013, shortly after being acquired by the New York Rangers from the San Jose Sharks. After his initial injury, he suffered another blow to the head in May 2013 that kept him out the remainder of the post-season.
In the 2013 off-season, the Devils regrettably overpaid by signing Clowe to a five-year, $24.25-million contract. Sure, every now and again he hinted of dominance like Milan Lucic or David Backes with the Devils, but suffered another head injury shortly after the season began in October that caused him to miss 32 games. Upon his return, he proceeded to play three months healthy though he refused to change his game. He even continued to fight even though he was all too familiar with the consequences. Clowe suffered another head injury in April 2014 which ended his season an ultimately his career..
Clowe's best years came in San Jose, overcoming a series of feet, groin and knee injuries to become a 20 goal, 60 point threat as one of the league's better power forwards.
In 491 regular-season games with the New Jersey Devils, New York Rangers and San Jose Sharks, he had 112 goals, 309 points and 618 penalty minutes. He added 18 goals, 46 points and 97 penalty minutes in 70 Stanley Cup Playoff games.