As a player with a no-trade clause written into his contract, Ryane Clowe knew he'd have a say in where he would land prior to today's NHL trading deadline. And he knew exactly where he wanted to be.
"New York was my first choice," Clowe stated emphatically after taking part in Wednesday's optional morning skate at the MSG Training Center some 15 hours after being traded from the Sharks to the Rangers. "From the outside looking in, it seemed like a good fit for me."
Prior to coming to New York, Clowe had spent his entire eight-year career with the San Jose Sharks. He is that organization's ninth-leading all-time scorer with 271 points in 423 games. But when it became apparent that the pending unrestricted free agent was going to be dealt before the deadline, Clowe thought long and hard about where he wished to go next.
"I have put a lot of thought into coming here, and obviously with the no-trade you get the benefit of thinking about it for a while about where you might fit in, and I thought it would be a really good fit here," explained a relaxed Clowe by his new locker. "I have always liked the way New York plays, the style they play, and they have a lot of really good players. So I think I'll fit in really well."
A rugged 30 year-old who has never been afraid to get his nose dirty, but who also is a three-time 50-point scorer in the NHL, Clowe brings a classic power forward prototype to the Rangers, an element the Blueshirts have lacked a bit in their lineup this season.
However part of what him available at the deadline is the fact that he has played28 games this season without scoring a goal, this after netting 17 last season and a career-best 24 two years ago.
"It took me a little while to get going after the lockout, and then I got frustrated because I wasn't scoring and it kind of built up," explained Clowe. "But I feel like I put that behind me, especially the past couple of weeks. I have been feeling good, moving my feet, skating well. I know the goals will come. And I feel like I make an impact on the game even when I am not scoring."
Clowe, who jokingly said he slept about 30 minutes at the end of his flight to New York this morning, is expected to make his Rangers debut against the Penguins tonight. The team's official lineup will not be announced until later this afternoon---certainly not until after the trade deadline passes at 3:00 PM. However Chris Kreider, J.T. Miller and Matt Gilroy did remain on the ice following the morning skate leading to the thought that Clowe and Arron Asham likely could replace the two rookies this evening.
The newest Ranger said he knows Brian Boyle and Gilroy, and that he exchanged texts with fellow Canadian Maritime Blueshirt Brad Richards.
"I'll fit in real quick around here, I think," offered Clowe.
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