Stay or go: Ryane Clowe

Debby Wong-USA TODAY Sports
Debby Wong-USA TODAY Sports

As the offseason progresses, the Rangers are going to have tough decisions to make. They currently have 18 players signed for next season to $51.5 million in cap space. With the cap at $64.3, the Rangers have $12.8 million in cap space to address roster needs, including re-signing their key RFAs. They are in better shape than they were before the Marian Gaborik trade, but addressing their needs may mean seeing a nice piece of the puzzle let go. Ryane Clowe is one of those forwards who may fall on the outside looking in.

When the Rangers traded for Clowe the day before the trade deadline, they were acquiring a big body who is dominant along the boards. Although Clowe hadn’t scored in San Jose, he immediately chipped in offensively with the Rangers (3-5-8 in 12 games). A concussion sidelined him for the last game of the regular season and all but two games in the postseason.¬†Clowe does not have a long injury history, and this was his first concussion. The real question is whether or not the Rangers saw enough in Clowe to warrant re-signing him to what would likely be a contract around $4 million.

Another aspect to consider with Clowe is the draft pick compensation heading to San Jose in the trade that brought him to New York. Should the Rangers re-sign Clowe, they will have to send a 2014 second round pick to San Jose. If he does not re-sign, then it’s just a fifth round pick headed to the Sharks. This is something that Slats is considering, but if he –and the new coach– believe that Clowe is critical to a Cup run, then he will be re-signed.

Therein lies the biggest debate for Clowe: Will the new coach see him as a useful piece? That’s something no one can answer at the moment. If he’s a useful piece to the coach’s style –and there’s no reason to think any coach wouldn’t be able to use him– then he will be a Ranger at the right price.

Clowe’s eight points in twelve games almost doubled his point total for the season and represented a significant bounce-back after an atrocious year. With the Rangers, Clowe managed to show that he can drive puck possession as well, with a 7.5 RCorsi. He did this with the fifth-toughest assignments (.160 Corsi Rel QoC) with 52.3% OZone starts. It is interesting to note that Clowe played with some other puck possession drivers (Corse Rel QoT of 3.124), but that’s still very effective.

For Clowe to be a good fit for the Rangers, it will all come to price. The Rangers are rightfully in win-now mode, but they also need to keep an eye on the future. Signing Clowe to a long-term deal –considering his concussion and off-year– is a risky proposition, but there’s no guarantee that another team with oodles of cap room (see: Islanders, New York/Brooklyn) won’t throw extra money at him to bring him on board.

Slats likely won’t go above Ryan Callahan’s $4.275 million salary to keep Clowe in Ranger blue. Clowe will be 31 by the time next season starts, and this is likely his last chance at a big payday, so Clowe is really a big toss up for the Rangers. If he can be had at a price that does not kill the Rangers cap, then it would be very beneficial to give Clowe another contract. That is a big if.

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  • Not a chance he is re-signed at anywhere near that number. Players in this league seem to be falling off very quickly once they hit their early thirties.

  • Clowe got $3.625 million this year. I don’t see why he gets a raise. His performance raised questions. His injuries raise questions. The salary cup cut squeezes budgets all around. He should be happy if his salary doesn’t get cut.

    I agree that I’d like to see him resigned at the right price, but my price is probably lower than yours. [?? What’s better, two years for $8M or four years for $12M?]

    • Agree. Too many other players to sign. Clowe should get 3MM for 2 or 3 years…You never know the market though,..Look at what Prust got and CLowe has been an overall better player than Prust. Having said that, the Rangers need a player like Clowe. I dont see Mashinter doing it, and as far as toughness goes, i am holding my breath as to whether McILrath ever sees the Rangers lineup.

      • I think clowe is a better player than prust but prust has a bigger impact on the team (pun cause he fights). Look what he helped do in Montreal, brought a last place team in the east to second. I think clowe is a much different player, I my opinion that’s comparing apple to oranges.

        Clowe in my opinion 1yr, 2.5 million. I know that’s a low ball offer but that conditional pick could pay dividends given that we have very few quality picks in this draft.

  • hes a big body that we missed in the playoffs in the bruins series. and in his last 39 playoff games hes put up 8-21-29 which is pretty damn good.

    hes brian boyle with the ability to put up 50 points a year

  • my feeling is, although clowe has expressed wanting to be here, unless he is truthful and wants the cup more than money, he’s going to be with a different team next year. there are four guys that this team has to resign, and then him.

    who’d you guys rather have zuc or clowe?

  • I can’t justify more than 2-2.5 mil per year, for two years. Any player that gets a concussion, is proned to get another, and another, so like a few others stated, I wouldn’t go for more than two years. This is also not to mention his shoulder issue.

    There should be some decent players on the UFA list that could fill his role. I mentioned Clarkson in the past, it went over like a lead balloon, but he is the real deal. He can skate, Clowe can’t, can score plenty, and is tough enough to handle himself.

    Once these guys hit 30, something happends, like healing isn’t quit as quick, foot speed is reduced, and in Clowes case what would we be looking at? If we need an example of this, just look in our own locker room at Richards!

    Last but not least, we would give up another 2nd round pick. Slats has gotten some very good 2nd rounders, Step, Artie, Dubi, so I wouldn’t want to be in a position where we have no picks until the 15th round. I know there is no 15th, just trying to make a point.

    He has never had injury problems, so that doesn’t bother me…He is a nice 2 way player for 3rd or 4th lines…He is only 30…BUT…Is he worth a 2nd RD Pick…Not Sure…!!!!!

  • I’d only sign Clowe if we can’t get Alex Burrows,
    Bickell (chi) or Hendricks (caps) when they become UFA’s on July 15. Would love all 3 of those players.
    BTW, i would only Clowe for a “hometown” discount and if the medics said he was OK to play.

    • I want the hawks the go to game seven of the Stanley cup just so there is less negotiation time for chicago. I like Bickel and thinks he fits the ranger system very very well

  • Agreed, Clowe (healthy) a great fit – something NYR needs – but only for the right price. He would have really helped vs Boston…and will in future playoffs. Cannot see hem getting a raise after a bad year/injuries…but don’t see him taking a decent size hometown discount either. I bet Clarkson would be more $$ since he is trending upwards. I’d like Clowe to stay and prefer him to Zucc by a wide margin. Zucc and MDZ for Big Buff!

  • After watching Richards crash and burn, it’s hard to justify paying Clowe big bucks into his mid-30’s.

  • He needs to be re-signed, especially if our new coach uses an aggressive forecheck like Torts did. I wouldn’t hesitate to say that the Boston series would’ve played out much differently if we had his size and physicality in the lineup. He’s what we desperately needed when Dubi left.

    Having said all of that, f him if he wants eight years.

  • I would amnesty Richards and say goodbye to Clowe – in truth we are starting to amass a ton of concussion prone players and more importantly we need every dollar for the upcoming homegrown FAs in the next two off-seasons. If anything we need to make small depth deals to regain picks and clear out our mediocre froward glut. A Hendricks or Bickell are terrific and we should investigate those two as well as a depth d-man with a cannon. We also need more skill and face-off winners on 3-4 lines which can be addressed on relatively inexpensive short deals or by giving some of our Pack talent a shot.

    • Bickel will be a lot more expensive than clowe in terms of both price and length of contract. He’s a younger version of clowe who can skates very well for a big guy. There is going to be a lot of competition for him this offseason.

      • You described the very reason we should go after Bickel in the first place, and forget about Clowe. Give me young, hungry kids who want to play, not retreads!!

        • Ignoring the financial constraints of the salary cap I agree that Bickell is a better player to bet on long term than Clowe but you can pretty much guarantee that he will get overpaid this summer… there is going to be a ton of competition for his services. Do I like him? Yes but not a the price it will probably take to land him.

          The Rangers should be able to get Clowe under contract for less years and less money for similar production (30-35 pts and physical presence). The late season injury may have actually helped the Rangers because it put a dent in his market value. He may have had a bad season in SJ but once he came to NY, he played great. I really think it was a case of a player needing a change of scenery, not a player in steep decline.

    • imagine scott hartnell in ranger blue. it’d take some getting used to, and i think he hates us, but it could happen.

    • We won’t have to give up a second round pick but they’ll cost more $$. It’s a trade off. That said I would love bickell on this team as a third liner.

  • In addition to concussion,

    Clowe too slow
    please just say no;
    using that salary/cap dough
    on our own free agents is way to go!
    And that other 2nd we surely know
    keeping it is soooooooooooooooooo
    much smarter.

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