Ryane Clowe was unsurprisingly labeled out in their game against the Nashville Predators.
This is unsurprising because Clowe has not skated for the New Jersey Devils since Oct. 13 when he was having headaches after a hit. He ended up having a concussion and has not been on the ice since his prognosis.
The problem is that this is Clowe’s fourth concussion in less than two years. We have seen this many times before in the NHL. Sidney Crosby missed a good part of two years after he dealt with post-concussion syndrome. The best player in the league quickly found that it took one hit the wrong way to almost end his career. Crosby came back on the ice, but Chris Pronger was not so lucky. He was hit in the head back in October of 2011 and tried to get back in November of that year, but he has not been seen on the ice again. He is unlike others, because he is having eye issues on top of it, but the fact is, head injuries took his career from him too soon.
Hopefully Clowe is not dealing with something that serious, but the fact that he has missed close to a month already without any signs of getting better is a terrible sign. Should he play again this season? Clowe could definitely add some much needed offense to this Devils team, but he is a five year investment. The team needs to be careful with him, as they have close to $25 million invested in the next five years of his career. He already has four concussions in a short amount of time; that usually spells out a situation that the Devils don’t want to deal with.
The problem is that Crosby and Pronger were brought back too quickly, and now they lost years on their career. Peter DeBoer and Lou Lamoriello need to make sure they don’t make the same mistake with Clowe. The season will get better offensively with or without Clowe in the lineup; the future will not if he needs a few years off.
Nick Villano is the New Jersey Devils writer for Rant Sports. He also adds to their NFL and MLB content. You can follow him on Twitter for more sports insight.