General Manager Lou Lamoriello was able to address the Devils need of goal-scoring players this offseason with the free agent signings of Mike Cammalleri and Martin Halvat. After signing a nice 5 year 25 million dollar contract, we can assume Mike Cammalleri was brought in on July 1st to play the wing along side of Jaromir Jagr and Travis Zajac come opening night in Philadelphia. With a solid first line set, the Devils potentially have an opening on their second line, likely to be teamed up with the pair of Adam Henrique and Patrik Elias. As New Jersey fans know, coach Pete DeBoer loves finding pairs of forwards that work well together, like in Henrique and Elias, and then find a player who complements the pairing best to create his lines. With plenty of quality forwards on the payroll to choose from, the Devils would be smart to give Ryane Clowe the first look.
Ryane Clowe signed with the Devils last summer, with the two sides agreeing to a 5 year 24.25 million dollar deal. In his first year for New Jersey, Clowe was able to tally 9 goals with the Red & Black along with 19 assists. 26 points in Clowe’s first season may not seem significant, however it is when you realize he only played 43 games.
43 games, which is a game more than half the season, is the amount on record that Clowe suited up in a Devil’s sweater for, but it was clear from the start of the season he was not 100% okay. From October 3rd to the 13th, Clowe played in 6 games, and only contributed a single assist on the offensive side of the puck. Unfortunately, Clowe struggled on defense as he accumulated a +/- rating of -5, which was a clear sign something was wrong. With concussion like symptoms, Ryane remained off the ice until after the Christmas Break in December.
Lets now look at Clowe’s stats from the 2013-14 season during the 37 games which he was playing at full capacity. During that span, Ryane Clowe was able to register a point in 19 of them, about 51% of his games played. Taking away the assist from early October, Clowe’s numbers would read 9 goals and 18 assists in that span. Why is this important you ask?
Sadly for the Devils and its fans, this is only an estimation. No promise can be made that Clowe would have kept up at his pace of 0.729 points per game, because there is no promise that a player as injury prone as Clowe can stay on the ice. In the shorten 2012-13 season, Clowe believed to have suffered a total of 3 concussions during his season split between the San Jose Sharks and New York Rangers. Concussion like symptoms kept him off the ice for the Devils early last season, and may hinder his ability to play in the future. If concussions or injuries continue to keep Clowe off the ice for Jersey in the coming years, the huge contract Lamoriello signed him to will be evaluated as a poor decision. On the other hand, if next season Ryane stays healthy and on the ice surrounded by the some of the team’s most talented forwards on the second line, these estimations could become a reality, and Clowe could easily become one of New Jersey’s offensive leaders.
Thanks for reading. This was my first post for Pucks and Pitchforks and am excited for the opportunity to post more in the near future. What do you think? Feel free to comment below with your opinions on Ryane Clowe as well as potential topics you would like to hear discussed!