Just like all of us, NHL players are fans of other sports and sometimes when they play in the same city or proximity of other professional teams for multiple years the players build bonds with one another, sometimes they even become season ticket holders. During the last NHL season (ahead of the Stadium Series game at the New Yankee Stadium) The Hockey Writers spoke at length (on and off the record) with Ryane Clowe of the New Jersey Devils about the game of baseball and how much he was going to enjoy playing a hockey game in that baseball park and gearing up in the historic Yankees locker room.
Clowe went on to tell us how he had become a big fan of the San Francisco Giants while playing for the San Jose Sharks for the first eight seasons of his NHL career; and how he’s also become a big fan of the game and enjoys reading about the history of it. His eyes lit up and a wide grin appeared when he mentioned how he and some Sharks teammates were able to see a playoff game at Yankee Stadium one year when their team had an off night while in the NYC Metro area.
Last week the SF Giants won their third World Series in five seasons so THW thought it would be another great chance to talk a little baseball with the 32-year-old Newfoundlander; and at the end we talk a bit about hockey too.
The Hockey Writers: We know you are a SF Giants fan; how happy were you after their Game 7 win last night?
Ryane Clowe: The last two times they won the World Series I was in San Fran; I had season tickets to the playoffs, so I went to a lot of games. I’ve been watching all the games that I could (this postseason). All three of their championships are impressive; they’re a dynasty, but they have so many different bodies each year. They keep pulling together as a team and it’s impressive to watch.
THW: Did you or have you gotten to know a few of them from when you played for the Sharks?
RC: I’ve gotten to know a few of those guys a little bit. Mostly through different charity events that we do and we got them involved in. A few of those guys used to come to the Sharks games, Travis Ishikawa and Sergio Romo are two that I remember coming there. Likewise a few of us would go out to San Fran and support them; that’s how it is with sports teams (in the same area), there’s a lot of support.
THW: Do you have a favorite player?
RC: When I was there (California) I remember around the same time Buster Posey came into MLB I started going to games. I’m a big fan of Posey, especially how he plays — real steady, seems like a good leader back there (behind the plate); he’s fun to watch. I really like (Matt) Cain who’s injured and (Madison) Bumgarner was almost the new Cain in these playoffs, the way he was their horse. It was unbelievable; I’ve never seen anything like his performance the last few days.
THW: Are you happy your old teammates are going to get to play in an outdoor game in San Francisco later this season?
RC: It’s awesome for them, I’m very happy they get to do it. I always said they could definitely have a game at AT&T Park where the Giants play; I think it would be awesome and it gets chilly there in the wintertime as well. The fact that they are having it at the new Levi Stadium (where the SF 49ers play) is pretty unbelievable. I don’t think most of those guys up there ever thought they’d get in an outdoor game (with San Jose). I was fortunate enough to play in one here…they’ll have a blast.
Apparently Ryane Clowe is a lousy exterminator…who knew?! Funny guy!
THW: Back in the sport you play, obviously it was nice to get your first home win in four tries (1-1-2) tonight?
RC: We found a way to win (tonight); obviously Schneids (Cory Schneider) was our first star tonight, he made some real good saves. It’s good to get the home win, but there is room to improve.
THW: Was this a good response after getting thumped 8-3 in your last game at Pittsburgh?
RC: Yeah…we didn’t give up eight goals tonight but we gave up some pretty prime scoring chances tonight. That’s something we have to get out of our game. We were fortunate enough tonight that Schneids had his ‘A’ game and he was able to bail us out a little bit. We have a ways to go.
THW: Are you happy/satisfied with where the team is at after ten games (5-3-2, 12 points)?
RC: We had a pretty quick start, and we have twelve points; it’s a decent start. I just think we have a lot more on this team; as a team, as individuals — we have more to give I think.
THW: Are you happy with where you are physically after the concussions last season?
RC: I’ve got more to give; I’ve been playing okay. Just like all of us, I have another level to… I think to my game. We got the first ten out of the way and now we’ll try to turn it up a bit.