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The New Jersey Devils incomprehensibly let David Clarkson get away (more on him later), but they may have found a suitable replacement in Ryane Clowe.
Clowe has roughly a year-and-a-half in age, one inch in height and 25 pounds in weight on Clarkson. In addition, he has cracked the 20-goal, 40-point and 50-point plateau more often in his NHL career.
To throw in a caveat, time will tell as to how much of that production circa 2008-2012 was inflated by the fact that Clowe was on a traditionally loaded San Jose strike force. His 3-5-8 run in 12 games with the Rangers after an uncharacteristically goal-less first three quarters of last season with the Sharks is too small of a sample to gauge.
Come what may, the Devils will need to bank on him filling the role of a power forward with a top-six offensive caliber. He is, after all, easily the team’s third-priciest forward with a $4.85 million cap hit.
He was the fourth-priciest in that group for a short while, until there was another incomprehensible development in Ilya Kovalchuk’s retirement. The loss of that prolific striker means it will be all the more imperative to foster new, younger talent in the form of Adam Henrique (if they can re-sign him first), among others.
Clowe could be New Jersey’s man to simultaneously protect and collaborate with those rising producers.