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ST. JOHNS, NL – A member of the Newfoundland and Labrador Hockey Hall of Fame is coming home to lead the new ECHL franchise.

The Newfoundland Growlers announced Wednesday that former NHL forward Ryane Clowe is the franchise’s first head coach. The former New Jersey Devils forward had spent the last two seasons as an assistant to current Devils head coach John Hynes.

In his new role, Clowe will work closely with the Maple Leafs development staff and receive personnel support from the Maple Leafs hockey operations staff as the Growlers open their inaugural season in October of 2018. He is slated to attend the Maple Leafs development camp next week as well as training camp with the Maple Leafs and Marlies in September.

“We are thrilled to add Ryane to our organization as the first coach of the Newfoundland Growlers,” said Maple Leafs General Manager Kyle Dubas. “His experience and connection with the area, along with the potential he has shown in coaching, make Ryane the best fit for our program.”

As a player, Clowe registered 309 points (112 goals, 197 assists) in 491 NHL regular season games and 46 points (18 goals, 28 assists) in 70 playoff games with the San Jose Sharks, New York Rangers and New Jersey Devils. After four seasons in the QMJHL, he was selected in the sixth round (175th overall) by the Sharks in the 2001 NHL Draft. Clowe also spent three seasons with the AHL’s Cleveland Barons.

“I’d personally like to thank Ray Shero, John Hynes and the New Jersey Devils organization for giving me the chance to begin my coaching career,” said Clowe. “I’m grateful to the Maple Leafs for providing me with this unique opportunity and excited to return home as the first head coach of the Growlers.”

Newfoundland opens their stint in the ECHL against the defending Eastern Conference champion Florida Everblades at Mile One Centre on October 12.

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