Numbers Game: Rangers reel in Clowe from Sharks

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Scott Cullen
4/2/2013 8:43:42 PM
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Looking to increase their offence, the New York Rangers traded for a physical winger who has yet to score a goal this season.

Numbers Game breaks down the acquisition of Ryane Clowe from the San Jose Sharks.

The Rangers Get: LW Ryane Clowe.

Clowe, 30, is a brute of a power forward who has been saddled with extraordinarily bad luck this season, failing to score a goal despite registering 65 shots on goal in 28 games. His 2.32 shots per game is down slightly from last year's 2.36 per game and his career-high 2.52 in 2010-2011, but not by a significant amount, particularly considering that his ice time is down about 80 seconds per game.

In any case, assuming that Clowe won't forever be forbidden from scoring goals in the NHL, he deserves credit for moving the puck in the right direction, more often than not and offering a rare combination of offensive ability and physical play.

Since the start of the 2008-2009 season, Clowe is one of seven players (Corey Perry, Alex Burrows, Scott Hartnell, David Backes, Milan Lucic and David Clarkson are the others) to register both at least 80 goals and 400 penalty minutes, a period of time during which Clowe has racked up 40 fighting major penalties.

In New York, Clowe figures to get an opportunity on a scoring line, where he can bang bodies, go to the net and help inject some life into the Blueshirts' sagging attack. That should mean that LW Carl Hagelin is most liable to get bumped to a third-line role since Hagelin has one goal in his last 16 games and played a season-low 10:55 against Winnipeg Monday.

An unrestricted free agent this summer, Clowe is a $3.625-million cap hit (www.capgeek.com) this season.

The Sharks Get: A second and third-round pick, along with a conditional fifth-round pick that becomes a second-round pick if the Rangers win two rounds in the playoffs or Clowe re-signs with Rangers.

The accumulation of picks does give the Sharks a fair chance to net at least one NHL player in return, which isn't bad considering that Clowe hasn't exactly enhanced his value by not scoring any goals this season.

San Jose could use another scoring forward in Clowe's absence. Even with Brent Burns at right wing, they've moved Joe Pavelski out of their top six and have Tommy Wingels, a hard hitter with 10 points in 29 games, skating with Patrick Marleau and Logan Couture. If the Sharks are committed to keeping their playoff spot (they're currently sixth in the Western Conference), then that might be an area to address.

Otherwise, the Sharks have managed to get into a playoff spot without any goals from Clowe, so they could still get to the postseason without him. If they get there, they could miss a player who has 18 goals and 45 points in 68 career playoff games but, in terms of asset management, it's not a bad move for the Sharks to get something for an underperforming player with an expiring deal.

Scott Cullen can be reached at Scott.Cullen@bellmedia.ca and followed on Twitter at http://twitter.com/tsnscottcullen. For more, check out TSN Fantasy on Facebook.

Ryane Clowe and Roberto Luongo (Photo: Nick Didlick/Getty Images)

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(Photo: Nick Didlick/Getty Images)
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