Traded to the Vancouver Canucks from the Chicago Blackhawks last Thursday night in exchange for Gustav Forsling; the 22-year-old from New York was recalled from the AHL’s Rockford IceHogs the next morning, arrived in Vancouver Friday, practiced Saturday and made his debut Sunday.
After practice Monday, Clendening finally had an afternoon to himself.
“I have to go the bank,” he chuckled, when asked what his plans were. “Actually, I have to find a bank, I have no idea where any are.”
Clendening had spent a grand total of two days in Vancouver before it became his new home, so he has some exploring and adjusting to do.
“I can’t sleep past like 7:30 a.m., that’s a problem,” he said, noting the two-hour time difference between Rockford and Vancouver. “I wake up super early and I’m going to bed relatively early; I’m trying to stay up later and get used to it, but my body just doesn’t want to do it.”
Perhaps going to an early movie would help?
In getting to know the 6-foot, 190-pound defenceman, he revealed a lot about himself and although he’s now patrolling the blueline for the Canucks, tasked with preventing goals and punishing anyone who enters the zone, Clendening also falls asleep in movie theatres.
“They’re comfortable chairs and it’s dark, so that’s it for me,” he laughed.
Clendening runs errands and can’t keep his eyes open at the theatre, he’s a normal family away from being like you and I.
“Average family I’d say, from a blue-collar town. My dad is a millwright and mom is in retail sales. My sister Christina is in college – and it’s her birthday right away too. She’s 21 in 21 days, add that to the list.”
Safe to say we know Clendening will be on the hunt for a shopping mall post-practice Wednesday.
Being thrown into the fire as Clendening has been would be overwhelming for most, but this kid has a solid head on his shoulders and he isn’t doing anything overwhelming. He said his play for the Canucks will mimic that.
“I’m a pretty easy-going guy, I don’t get too up or too down. I find the better I am in my own end, the easier the game is. The better I am in my own end, around the net specially; it’s tough because a lot of guys in this league are bigger than I am so I can’t bully them for position. I’ve got to be smart and not give guys lanes to the net and box them out.
"I work hard and you get what you work for. I’m a hardworking guy and I try and make my own breaks."
Clendening said overall he’s learning a similar system to what he was already playing this season, except for a few details he'll be focusing on.
Away from the rink, other than getting to know Vancouver, he’s got a new room of teammates to familiarize with. Clendening played with Ryan Stanton during his rookie year in Chicago, so one down, 22 to go.
“The Super Bowl helped,” he explained. “Most of the guys stayed at the rink after our game and watched in the Captain’s Room. I had the new guy syndrome where I sat by myself at first, then it was a bit of a merry-go-round with everyone taking their turns to come say hi. I appreciated it though, it’s a great bunch of guys.”
And what did he think of the Super Bowl itself?
“I know Vancouver fans aren’t going to like this, but I’m a New England guy, I went to school out there, big Brady guy, I like what he’s all about. He’s quiet, humble and just wins. Can’t not like a winner.
“Hopefully they won’t hate me for that here!”
You’re short on sleep, new guy, we’ll forgive you this time.