Ryane Clowe was named an assistant coach by the New Jersey Devils on Tuesday.
"We are looking forward to Ryane joining our staff," coach John Hynes told the Devils website. "His character, expertise as a player, knowledge of the game and passion to coach will be a benefit for our players and the Devils' organization."
Clowe, 33, joins assistants Geoff Ward and Alain Nasreddine, along with goaltending coach Chris Terreri, on Hynes' staff for this season.
"I didn't know [assistant general manager] Tom Fitzgerald or [general manager] Ray Shero, John Hynes or any of the coaching staff, besides Chris Terreri who was here [when I played], so it was all new and I feel very fortunate that they gave me an opportunity to stay around," Clowe said. "Not a lot of guys get to stay in the game right away as soon as they are done playing, especially for me. I was only 33 years old. To get an opportunity that John and Ray gave me right away... to be involved with the coaching staff and also do some stuff outside like scouting and some of the stuff on the management side, it was a great resource. I got to feel out what I wanted to do and right away, I think coaching was something that stood out. This is where my passion is.
"I think I'm a year removed from the game so I have a decent idea how to relate to the players... I know there's a learning curve here. It's an opportunity to be with this coaching staff which I found out last year was a great staff."
Clowe, 33, was signed by the Devils to a reported five-year, $24.25 million contract on July 5, 2013. He had eight goals and 30 points in 56 games with New Jersey from 2013-2015. Clowe's contract expires after the 2017-18 season.
He was placed on long-term injured reserve during the 2014-15 season after a series of concussions, and although he hasn't officially retired, he told NorthJersey.com on Sept. 11, 2015, that he would not play another game in his career.
"I feel pretty good," Clowe said then. "I was starting to recover and starting to feel good again. I hoped that the opportunity might be there to play again, but it wasn't. But, overall, besides the whole emotional part of this, physically I feel pretty good. But, emotionally, it's a tough day or a tough last week or however long. That's how it goes."
Clowe worked closely with the staff and hockey operations last season in "a variety of roles," the Devils said.
"Even when I played, it's something I thought about after I finished playing," Clowe said of his interest in coaching. "The last lockout I actually spent some time coaching in the [ECHL] in San Francisco with the Bulls. I kind of knew that I was probably leaning towards that way. You never really know until you get an opportunity to be around it which I did last year. I knew early on it was probably something I wanted to pursue."
Selected by the San Jose Sharks in the sixth round (No. 175) of the 2001 NHL Draft, Clowe had 112 goals and 309 points in 491 games in 10 seasons in the NHL with the Devils, Sharks and New York Rangers. He had an NHL career-high 24 goals and 62 points with the Sharks in 2010-11.
"I know the commitment to coaching is something that you really got to be mentally prepared for," Clowe said. "Obviously the players get to go home a little earlier, the coaches grind it out a bit more, but for me, I am looking forward to it. Last year, being away from the game, I wanted more, more hours, more time to be around. ... I'm just looking to dive in, and I am hungry to get started."