Ryane Clowe, one of the most popular players to ever dress for the San Jose Sharks will sadly not play another NHL game. Unfortunately for the rugged winger, concussions have taken their toll. Clowe’s NHL career spanned 10 different seasons with 491 games played and 309 points scored.
A tough guy with big time skills, Clowe was a fan favorite from the get go. The Newfoundland native was a no-nonsense type of player on the ice and one of the best guys in the league off of it (when not playing the puck from the bench). Back in May I wrote about Clowe’s career and the character guy the league will miss if he couldn’t continue his career.
Given the news of his unofficial retirement (sounds like the Devils will put him on LTIR until his contract runs out), time to look back at the most memorable moments of Clowe’s career.
5. Monster Hit on Chris Tanev
One of the great things about Clowe was that the six-foot-two, 225 pound winger could physically impose his will on his opponents. When the Sharks needed a wake up call, Clowe could deliver with monster hits like this one on Vancouver’s Chris Tanev.
4. Playoff Brawl, Pummeling Jordin Tootoo
The Sharks were smoked in Game 1 of their playoff series with the Nashville Predators back in 2007. At the end of the game frustrations came out and once Clowe got his wits about him that Jordin Tootoo was on his back, he got turned around and started absolutely pounding on the smaller Predator.
3. Pretty Sauce Pass to Pavelski for Playoff Goal
Very few NHL tough guys had the play-making hands that Clowe did. While No. 29 frequently delivered big hits and dropped the gloves, he was also a big time offensive contributor. This was a perfectly timed pass chipped over the defender’s skates right onto Joe Pavelski’s tape.
2. Locker Room Tirade January 2011
Clowe was always a go-to interview for Sharks media members, he was never shy about giving his thoughts on the game. After a particular tough-luck loss to Vancouver in 2011, Clowe went off after the game, indirectly calling out some of his teammates:
“We just want to cheat at times, That’s how it is. They’re not afraid to play a sound defensive game. They’ll stick too it. We have guys that want to do it occasionally. Not all the time though because that’s hard work. And when you work hard, you feel it after a game. I guarantee you there’s guys who don’t feel that tired after that game. Do you want to score four goals or do you want to win a game? Are you happy losing but with five goals? Losing 6-5 maybe or would you rather, like in LA, win 1-0? Are guys happy then? Maybe they want to score goals and get points. I don’t know.”
Clowe’s tirade was a refreshing outburst for a team in need of a kick in the pants. Towards the end of his time with the Sharks Clowe was rightfully made an alternate captain as one of the top leaders on the team. Nobody put their body on the line and cared more about winning than Clowe.
1. Between the Legs Backhand Playoff Goal
Clowe could do everything on the ice, including scoring some big time goals. This playoff goal was a thing of beauty to turn in one motion and get a quick backhand shot off between his own legs before Jimmy Howard even knew what was coming.
If there was ever an NHL player that defined the term “gamer” by the way he played, it was Ryane Clowe. It is a sad day to learn that he will no longer be able to compete at the highest level. Sharks fans got to see him at his best and it is unfortunate Devils fans never got to see what Clowe could do when healthy. Hopefully for Clowe’s sake, he can live the rest of his life free of concussion symptoms. Sometimes players who racked up the penalty minutes aren’t as fortunate.
Andrew has been credentialed to cover the Sharks since 2010 and the 49ers since 2012. He graduated with his BA in Broadcast Electronic Communication Arts in 2013 from San Francisco State University.