The New Jersey Devils have a new GM* in Ray Shero, but it doesn’t sound like Ryane Clowe’s murky future is any clearer.
Shero essentially said that it’s a status quo situation for Clowe, which basically means that he’s unsure if the power forward will be forced (or will flat-out choose) to retire. He told the Newark Star-Ledger that it’s not so much a good or a bad thing to say this, then.
“I don’t have that answer for you at this point,” Shero said. “That’s not negative or positive. I don’t know what the immediate future holds for Ryane. Certainly Lou has the background and file and knows everything about Ryane and where he is, so we’ll see where it goes. No decision as of today.”
Earlier this offseason, Clowe said the decision is “not in my hands right now,” but Shero said he believes the choice will come down to “a combination of the player, the organization and doctors.”
The elephant in the room might be style, though.
Even a “finesse” player must cope with the risks involved with playing despite a history of concussions, but Clowe is the hard-nosed type who may struggle to make a difference if he can’t really go all-out.
By Yahoo’s count, he delivered 621 hits from 2009-10 to 2014-15 (more than one per game). Even if you ignore hits absorbed, that’s a lot of collisions. He drops the gloves with frequency, as well, with peak years of 12 fights in 2010-11 and 11 in 2009-10, as well as five in each of 2012-13 and 2013-14.
That amounts to a ton of physical play, and that’s style is obviously Clowe’s calling card. He’d obviously have to play that gritty game to even be worthy of dressing in the Devils’ lineup.
Does this mean that the 32-year-old should quit right now? Not necessarily, but it doesn’t seem overly promising.
Clowe has three seasons remaining on his contract which brings an annual cap hit and salary of $4.85 million.
* – That’s still kind of weird, right?