On the surface the New York Rangers’ acquisition of Ryane Clowe doesn’t look all that appealing. The Rangers are, after all, a team that ranks 30th in the NHL in goals per game and adding a forward who hasn’t scored a goal this season doesn’t seem like much a help on paper. However, where Clowe, 30, will help the Rangers doesn’t appear prominently on any stat sheet. Clowe is being brought in to add some muscle up front and potentially kick in a goal here and there.
The Rangers’ forecheck hasn’t been consistent this season. At times, the Rangers have been bullied by the likes of Milan Lucic and Chris Neil. Last season, the Rangers got consistent play out of Brandon Prust and Mike Rupp. Prust signed with the Montreal Canadiens and Rupp was inconsistent before being traded for Darroll Powe who has been the subject recently of Coach John Tortarella’s benchings.
Clowe has a history of being a somewhat consistent goal-scorer as well as a physical player. Last season Clowe had 17 goals and a career-high 24 goals in 2010-11. He has 101 goals in 423 career games so there is an ability to put the puck in the net.
The Rangers will be sending over a second and third-round pick to the San Jose Sharks. If Clowe, a free agent at the end of the year, signs with the Rangers the Rangers will send another conditional second-round pick in 2014. The Sharks would also get the second-round pick if the Rangers win two rounds of playoffs. If neither of those two things happens the Sharks would get a fifth-round pick.
The 6-foot-2, 225-pound Clowe chose the Rangers over the Vancouver Canucks, the luxury of having a no-trade clause. Clowe might not be the only piece the Rangers add before the three p.m. deadline on Wednesday but if he is it is a solid move that should bolster the Rangers and allow them to match the physicality of teams like the Boston Bruins, New Jersey Devils and Ottawa Senators.