The Telegram (St. John's)
Clowe can’t shake the coaching bug
It means long hours and loneliness as he’s separated from his family, but Fermeuse native is returning as a Devils assistant
The hours are long and the family separation is tormenting, but the chance to continue following his passion has Ryane Clowe heading back to Newark, N.J., next season for a second year behind the bench as an assistant coach for the New Jersey Devils.
The Fermeuse native, forced into retirement with multiple concussions following a 10-year NHL career, had contemplated stepping away from coaching after joining John Hynes’s staff in Jersey last season.
Not that Clowe was bored with the job, or wanted out. Rather, it was a family issue — while he was in Newark with the team, his wife and two children were back in Florida, where the family has laid roots.
“I talked to John (Hynes) a couple or three weeks after the season ended, and I told him the situation.
“I mean, I love it in Jersey with John and the team, but at the same time, it’s tough being away from the family.
“We took a couple of weeks, and John called after the draft and said, ‘Listen, we have to make a decision. Is there anything we can do to make you stay?’ It’s not like I had any demands or anything. That was never my intention. I told him I’d love to keep coaching.”
In the end, Clowe and his wife, Jennifer, decided to give it one more go. She will stay in Florida with the kids — Willow is seven and Bodhi is 11 months old — while Ryane works the final year of his contract.
“I tried scouting (in 2015-16, his first season into retirement), but it wasn’t even close. Once I got into coaching, I knew that was where I wanted to be. And I know that if I get out, not only is it hard getting back in, but I’d likely have to start at the bottom.”
Clowe retired from playing in 2015, two years after signing a five-year, $24.25 million contract. He worked as an assistant on that contract last season, and will do the same this year as the deal closes out.
Just as he did as a player, Clowe dove head-first into coaching. Only the equipment guys and training staff punch in longer hours than the coaches, and Clowe is putting his time in at the rink.
Rare is the morning when he isn’t at the office by 6:30 a.m. If it’s a game day, he’ll remain on the ice after practice with the extras, catch 40 winks on a couch, work the game and get back home after midnight.
“There are days I don’t see outside the rink, from the time I get there until I leave,” he said.
Clowe, one of three assistants on Hynes’s staff (Geoff Ward and Alain Nasreddine are the others), hopes to take on more of a role with the Devils this season, perhaps overseeing a special teams unit.
Clowe’s return to the Devils could make for four Newfoundlanders working as NHL assistant coaches next season. Darryl Williams of Mount Pearl, who now lives in St. John’s, returns to the New York Rangers, and Lewisporte native Darryl Seward, a Paradise resident, has been hired as the video coach for the Vancouver Canucks as part of new head coach Travis Green’s staff.
The only question rests with St. John’s native John Slaney, and whether he will return for a third season as an Arizona Coyotes’ assistant. Slaney is still listed on the Coyotes’ coaching staff, but Arizona has a new head coach in Rick Tocchet, and Slaney has said he would not be averse to returning to his old job as an assistant with the American Hockey League’s Tucson Roadrunners.