Ryane Clowe’s NHL career is over, but he’s not going to retire.
That was the message from New Jersey Devils GM Ray Shero to Tom Gulitti of the Bergen Record, as he said Clowe is “unable to play hockey now or hockey in the future” after suffering multiple concussions in his career.
From Fire & Ice:
“This has been ongoing for a while,” Shero said. “Based on the recommendation of doctors and the latest incident on Nov. 6 and the result of the injuries and the concussions, he’s going to be unable to play hockey now or hockey in the future. For me getting to know Ryane over the last two months in particular, he’s a proud player, he’s a proud person. This has been very difficult for him and knowing he’s given this a lot of time to try to play and seeing the doctors to try to get back to play, the conclusion that he’s unable to play hockey now or in the future.”
Clowe had been working out in an attempt to resurrect his career with the Devils, with three years and $14.55 million remaining on a contract he signed in July 2013. He missed the final 69 games of the 2014-15 season after a hit from David Backes of the St. Louis Blues, and doctors have advised him to shut it down for good.
From Fire & Ice:
“Medically I’m not cleared to play,” Clowe said. “I’ve seen various professionals, I guess, over the last couple of years when you go back, but (particularly) since the last injury. I tried to work my way back. Of course, I want to play again, but it just didn’t work out and I wasn’t able to play again. Sure, you want to. It’s just not possible and it won’t be possible moving forward.”
Shero said Clowe will remain on the Devils roster, which means his salary will count against the salary cap if the team needs it to, or the Devils can shift him to long-term injured reserve if necessary. Unless, of course, there’s some David Clarkson trade that Shero can find to remove the contract from the books.
Ah, yes, David Clarkson, whose departure from New Jersey led to the desperation signing of Clowe by Lou Lamoriello in 2013. A player whose fragility was as apparent then as it is now at the end of his career.
There’s no question that Clowe’s signing will go down as one of the most regrettable in the history of the franchise; but the real regret for Devils fans should be that Clowe’s body never gave him the chance to prove his real value.
It’s always frustrating when players don’t get to make the call on when to hang up their skates.
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