Dan Cloutier

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Dan Cloutier
Dan Cloutier.jpg
Born (1976-04-22) April 22, 1976 (age 38)
Mont-Laurier, QC, CAN
Height 6 ft 1 in (185 cm)
Weight 195 lb (88 kg; 13 st 13 lb)
Position Goaltender
Caught Left
Played for NHL
Los Angeles Kings
Vancouver Canucks
Tampa Bay Lightning
New York Rangers
AHL
Rockford IceHogs
Manchester Monarchs
Hartford Wolf Pack
Binghamton Rangers
IHL
Detroit Vipers
Aus
EC KAC
National team  Canada
NHL Draft 26th overall, 1994
New York Rangers
Playing career 1996–2009

Daniel Cloutier (born April 22, 1976) is a Canadian retired professional ice hockey goaltender and currently a goaltending consultant for the Vancouver Canucks. In his 10-year National Hockey League (NHL) career, Cloutier played with the New York Rangers, Tampa Bay Lightning, Vancouver Canucks, and Los Angeles Kings, spending the majority of his career in Vancouver. He employed a combination of both butterfly and stand-up goaltending and was known for wearing the uncommon birdcage style helmet.

Cloutier played junior hockey in the Ontario Hockey League (OHL) for four seasons with the Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds and Guelph Storm, making two Memorial Cup appearances in 1993 and 1996. Following his second OHL season, he was selected 26th overall by the Rangers in the 1994 NHL Entry Draft. He began his professional career spending time in the minor leagues with the Rangers' American Hockey League (AHL) affiliates, before joining the NHL team full-time in 1998–99. After three seasons playing within the Rangers organization, he was traded to the Lightning, where he spent one-and-a-half years.

In February 2001, he was acquired by the Canucks. Cloutier enjoyed his most successful years as an NHL goaltender with Vancouver, recording three consecutive 30-win seasons between 2001–02 and 2003–04. In the 2006 off-season, he was dealt to Los Angeles, where he struggled with injuries and a decline in play. His contract was bought out by the team following the 2007–08 season. As part of an attempted comeback in 2009, he first signed a deal to try out with the Detroit Red Wings at the team's training camp, then played briefly with the AHL's Rockford IceHogs, before retiring due to chronic injury problems. Internationally, Cloutier was part of two Canadian teams. He won a gold medal at the 1995 World Junior Championship and was a fourth-string goaltender at the 2001 IIHF World Championship.

After his time with the Kings, Cloutier served as an assistant coach to his brother, Sylvain, with the Corpus Christi IceRays of the Central Hockey League for one season. Following his retirement, he became a goaltending coach for the Barrie Colts of the OHL.

Playing career[edit]

Junior career[edit]

As a 15-year-old, Cloutier played Junior B with the St. Thomas Stars of the Western Ontario Hockey League (WOHL). He recorded a 5.83 goals against average (GAA) over 14 games in his lone season with the team in 1991–92.

The following season, Cloutier began a four-year career in the Ontario Hockey League (OHL), debuting with the Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds. He played in 12 games (4 wins, 6 losses and 0 ties)[notes 1] with the Greyounds, recording a 4.62 GAA in the regular season. In the 1993 OHL playoffs, Cloutier appeared in an additional four games, winning one and losing two, as part of the Greyhounds' run to the J. Ross Robertson Cup Finals. Although they lost the league championship to the Peterborough Petes four-games-to-one, the Greyhounds still qualified for the 1993 Memorial Cup as the tournament's host team. The Greyhounds met the Petes again in the Memorial Cup final, defeating them by a 4–2 score. Cloutier did not appear in any Memorial Cup games, in lieu of starter Kevin Hodson.[1] During his rookie season in the OHL, he also played in five games at the Junior A level with the Timmins Golden Bears of the Northern Ontario Junior Hockey Association.

Cloutier assumed the starting position with the Greyhounds in 1993–94, posting 28 wins, 14 losses and 6 ties, along with a 3.56 GAA and .890 save percentage. Appearing in an additional 14 playoff games, he led the Greyhounds to the OHL semifinals, where they were defeated by the Detroit Jr. Red Wings.

In the off-season, Cloutier was selected by the New York Rangers 26th overall in the 1994 NHL Entry Draft. He was the third-ranked goaltender playing in North America by the NHL Central Scouting Bureau and the fourth goaltender taken in the draft.[2] Appearing in his first NHL training camp in September 1994, he was returned to the OHL by the middle of the month.[3]

During his third junior season in 1994–95, Cloutier recorded a 4.41 GAA in 45 games (15 wins, 26 losses and 2 ties).[4] As a team, the Greyhounds struggled and finished out of the playoffs. In the off-season, Cloutier was signed by the Rangers to an NHL contract on July 7, 1995.[5]

Despite his NHL contract, Cloutier remained in the OHL for the 1995–96 season. In his 12th game of the season with Sault Ste. Marie, he suffered a shoulder injury that sidelined him for two months.[6] During his return to the lineup in a game against the Windsor Spitfires on January 2, 1996, he reaggravated the injury.[1] While continuing to recover, he was dealt to the Guelph Storm at the trade deadline on January 10 in exchange for goaltender Andy Adams and two draft picks.[1] Splitting the campaign between the Greyhounds and Storm, he recorded a 2.85 GAA in 30 games.[4] As the Storm finished the season with lowest GAA in the league, Cloutier and backup Brett Thompson were jointly awarded the Dave Pinkney Trophy. Cloutier additionally received OHL Second All-Star Team honours. In the playoffs, he recorded a 3.14 GAA in 16 games. However, for the second time in four years, his team was defeated in the J. Ross Robertson Cup Finals by the Peterborough Petes. Despite losing the OHL title, Guelph earned a berth into the 1996 Memorial Cup as the OHL's representative; the Petes had an automatic bye into the tournament as the host team. The Storm lost all three of their round-robin games, failing to qualify for the Memorial Cup playoffs. Cloutier had a 4.00 GAA in the three contests.[4]

Early career (1996–2001)[edit]

Cloutier began his professional career in 1996–97 with the Binghamton Rangers of the American Hockey League (AHL), New York's minor league affiliate. He assumed the starting position in Binghamton as a rookie, posting a 3.55 GAA and .892 save percentage to be named to the AHL All-Rookie Team.[7] The following season, New York changed their AHL affiliate to the Hartford Wolf Pack; Cloutier was consequently moved to Hartford for the club's inaugural season in 1998–99. By late-December 1998, he earned a call-up to the Rangers as backup goaltender Jason Muzzatti was demoted to the Wolf Pack.[8] At the time of his call-up, Rangers management established that although he would play backup to Mike Richter, they intended on giving him opportunities to play. In anticipation of Cloutier's NHL debut, the team's goaltending consultant, Sam St. Laurent, described his playing style as a combination of both butterfly and stand-up goaltending.[8]

He appeared in his first NHL game on January 3, 1998, replacing Richter seven minutes into a contest against the Washington Capitals. Cloutier stopped all 16 shots he faced to record his first NHL victory by a 3–2 score.[9] He made his first NHL start the following game against the Carolina Hurricanes on January 6, 1998. Stopping 26 shots, he helped the Rangers to a 4–2 win.[10] He played 12 games total in 1998–99, backing Richter up for the remainder of the season, recording 4 wins, 5 losses and a tie with a 2.50 GAA and .907 save percentage.[4] Perhaps his most well-known performance as a Ranger was during a game against the New York Islanders on April 4, 1998, in which he fought opposing goalie Tommy Salo. With seven minutes remaining in a 3–0 loss, several fights broke out between players. While Salo tried to intervene in a fight between the Rangers' P. J. Stock and Islanders' Mariusz Czerkawski, Cloutier attacked the Islanders goaltender. The subsequent goalie fight resulted in Cloutier repeatedly punching Salo in the back of the head before taking it upon himself to stop. He proceeded to skate towards the Islanders bench, challenging the opposing players before being restrained by a referee.[11]

In the 1998 off-season, the Rangers signed goaltender Kay Whitmore who Cloutier competed with to retain his backup position.[12] Whitmore spent the season in the minors as Cloutier was kept on the Rangers roster in 1998–99.[13] Playing in his first full NHL season, Cloutier appeared in 22 games (6 wins, 8 losses, 3 ties) with a 2.68 GAA and .914 save percentage.[4]

The following off-season, Cloutier was traded on the day of the 1999 NHL Entry Draft (June 26, 1999) to the Tampa Bay Lightning. He was sent to Tampa Bay, along with winger Niklas Sundstrom, a first-round selection (Nikita Alexeev) in 2000 and a third-round selection (subsequently traded) in 2000, for the Lightning's first-round selection in that year's draft (Pavel Brendl).[4] With the departure of Tampa Bay's previous starter, Bill Ranford, to the Detroit Red Wings and Darren Puppa nearing the end of his career, Cloutier assumed the starting position for his new club. Cloutier's first season as an NHL starter was interrupted on several occasions with numerous injuries and a suspension. He suffered a strained groin early in the campaign on November 18, 1999, forcing him out of two games.[7] On January 14, 2000, he was suspended by the league for four games after an incident with Islanders forward Tim Connolly. After the two collided, Cloutier cross-checked Connolly, then kicked his head (Connolly's helmet was intact) while he was lying face-down on the ice.[14] The following month, he re-strained his groin on February 21 and missed four games.[7] Cloutier missed another four contests beginning on March 14 after injuring his neck.[7] His fourth injury of the season occurred on March 28, when he strained his medial collateral ligament (MCL) and missed five games.[7] He finished the 1999–2000 season appearing in 52 games for the Lightning, recording 9 wins, 30 losses and 3 ties as the team finished second-last in the league. He registered a 3.49 GAA and .885 save percentage.

Injury troubles continued the following season, in 2000–01, as Cloutier was sidelined for nine games early in the season after straining his biceps on October 22, 2000.[7] After recovering, he recorded his first NHL shutout, making 26 saves, in a 3–0 win against the Detroit Red Wings on December 2, 2000. He achieved the feat in his 95th career game in the NHL.[15] During that month, head coach Steve Ludzik began playing backup Kevin Weekes in favour of Cloutier. By the trade deadline, Cloutier was dealt to the Vancouver Canucks on February 7, 2001, in exchange for defenceman Adrian Aucoin and a second-round selection in the 2001 draft.[16]

Vancouver Canucks (2001–06)[edit]

Upon arriving in Vancouver, Cloutier began sharing starts with veteran goaltender Bob Essensa; the Canucks' third goaltender, Felix Potvin, was traded away to the Los Angeles Kings soon after Cloutier's acquisition.[17] Playing in 16 games with the Canucks to close out the 2000–01 season, Cloutier recorded 4 wins, 6 losses and 5 ties, along with a 2.43 GAA and .894 save percentage. He helped the Canucks make the playoffs for the first time in five years that season. Playing the first-seeded Colorado Avalanche in the opening round, Cloutier made his first NHL post-season appearance in game one, stopping 23 of 28 shots in a losing effort. Having surrendered five goals, Essensa was given the start over Cloutier for the following two contests. After Essensa suffered a knee injury in game three,[18] Cloutier was back in net for the fourth and final game of the series, a 5–1 loss.[19] He had a 4.63 GAA and .842 save percentage in his first two career playoff games. Despite the Canucks' early playoff exit, Cloutier's addition to the team helped bolster a young and improving team led by such players as captain Markus Naslund, winger Todd Bertuzzi and defenceman Ed Jovanovski.[20]

During the off-season, both Canucks goaltenders became free agents. Cloutier was re-signed on July 18, 2001,[21] while Essensa agreed to a contract with the Buffalo Sabres.[22] With Essensa's departure, Cloutier established himself as the team's starting goaltender in 2001–02. He notched his first shutout as a Canuck on October 13, 2001, in a 4–0 win against the Avalanche.[23] The following month, Cloutier was named NHL Player of the Week on November 6, 2001.[24] He earned a second such distinction near the end of the season on March 18, 2002.[24] Eight days later, he recorded his seventh and final shutout of the campaign in a 4–0 win against the Los Angeles Kings, setting a new team record. His seven shutouts surpassed Gary Smith and Garth Snow's previous team record of six, accomplished in 1974–75 and 1998–99, respectively. Cloutier's mark was later surpassed by Roberto Luongo, who recorded nine shutouts in 2008–09.[25] Cloutier finished his first full season with Vancouver posting 31 wins, 22 losses and 5 ties with a 2.43 GAA and .901 save percentage. He played in a career-high 62 games despite missing nine games in January and February 2002 with an ankle injury.[21]

Entering the 2002 playoffs as the eighth seed for the second consecutive year, the Canucks faced the Presidents' Trophy-winning Detroit Red Wings in the opening round. With 32- and 34-save performances from Cloutier, Vancouver won the first two games of the series.[26][27] In game three, the Canucks and Red Wings were tied with a minute remaining in the second period when Red Wings defenceman Nicklas Lidström scored on Cloutier with a slapshot from centre ice.[28] The goal was observed by the media as a turning point in the series for both Cloutier and the Canucks as a team.[29] The Red Wings won game three, as well as the next three contests to eliminate the Canucks in six games; Cloutier was taken out of the game in the first period of the next two contests in favour of backup Peter Skudra.[30]

Cloutier began the 2002–03 season by recording a shutout against the Calgary Flames on October 10, 2002. It marked the first time in Canucks history that the team began the season with a shutout win.[24] In November 2002, Cloutier won 11 of 12 games, including a team record 10 straight games,[31] while recording a 2.15 GAA and .920 save percentage. He was named NHL Player of the Month, becoming the fourth Canucks player in team history to receive the distinction.[24] He suffered a setback in December 2002, when he missed three games with a knee injury.[21] On February 17, 2003, he was named NHL Player of the Week for the third time in his career.[24] Six days later, he recorded his 30th win of the season, becoming the first Canucks goaltender in team history to reach the plateau in back-to-back years.[24] That same week, he suffered his second knee injury of the season and missed 10 games.[21] He returned to the lineup by mid-March to finish the season with Vancouver.[21] After the Canucks ranked in the eighth and final playoff spot in Cloutier's first two seasons with the team, Cloutier helped lead them to within one point of the Northwest Division title in 2002–03. In 57 games, he posted 33 wins, 16 losses and 7 ties with a 2.42 GAA and .908 save percentage. Cloutier won the first and only playoff series of his career in 2003 as the Canucks eliminated the St. Louis Blues in seven games. He made 33 saves in the deciding contest, a 4–1 win for Vancouver.[32] Advancing to the second round against the Minnesota Wild, the Canucks took a three-games-to-one lead. With Vancouver needing one more win to eliminate the Wild, Cloutier was taken out of Game 5 in favour of rookie Alex Auld after allowing six goals on 21 shots through two periods. As both teams were leaving the ice at the start of the second intermission, opposing goaltender Dwayne Roloson bumped Canucks forward Trevor Linden, prompting Cloutier to challenge Roloson; Cloutier threw two punches towards Roloson and received minor penalties for roughing and for leaving his crease. With Cloutier on the bench for the third period, the Canucks lost 7–2.[33] In the following two games, Cloutier allowed nine goals on 40 shots as the Wild completed a three-game comeback to eliminate the Canucks.[34][35]

In the off-season, Cloutier was re-signed to a one-year, $2.5 million contract on July 15, 2003.[21][36] Nearly two months into the subsequent season, Cloutier recorded his 100th career NHL win, making 31 saves in a 3–1 victory over the Ottawa Senators on November 27, 2003.[37] As the season progressed, Cloutier suffered several more injuries, the first of which was a groin injury in December 2003 that sidelined him for three games.[21] He missed three more games before the season ended with cases of the flu and a lower-body injury.[21] On February 14, 2004, he was fined $1,000 by the league for hitting opposing forward Ronald Petrovicky in the face with his blocker during a game against the Atlanta Thrashers.[38]

Cloutier with the Canucks in 2005

Cloutier's regular season success with the Canucks continued in 2003–04, as he became the first goaltender in team history to record three consecutive 30-win seasons.[39] Over 60 games, he recorded 33 wins, 21 losses and 6 ties. His 2.27 GAA, which established a Canucks team-record (later surpassed by Roberto Luongo), and .914 save percentage were both career-highs. In the opening round of the 2004 playoffs against the Calgary Flames, Cloutier suffered another injury, spraining his right ankle in the first period of game three.[40] After Johan Hedberg initially replaced Cloutier, Alex Auld filled in for the final three games of the series; Vancouver was defeated in seven games.

As initial contract negotiations failed in the off-season, Cloutier filed for arbitration on July 16, 2004.[21] Arbitration was avoided by both sides when Cloutier agreed to a one-year, $3 million contract 11 days later.[36] Due to the 2004–05 NHL lockout, however, Cloutier spent the season mostly inactive until signing with EC KAC of the Austrian Hockey League on January 20, 2005.[21] Replacing injured starter Andrew Verner,[41] he appeared in 13 games with the Klagenfurt-based team, going undefeated with a 1.94 GAA. EC KAC finished the regular season second with the second-best record in the league.[42] Cloutier appeared in 10 additional playoff games, recording a 2.75 GAA. EC KAC advanced to the finals, where they were defeated four-games-to-three by the Vienna Capitals.

With NHL play set to resume in 2005–06, Cloutier re-signed with the Canucks to a two-year, $5 million contract on August 18, 2005.[43] Returning to the Canucks, he was injured early in the season during a game against the Avalanche on October 29, 2005. Attempting to check Avalanche forward Andrew Brunette, Canucks defenceman Nolan Baumgartner collided with Cloutier, causing a goal and forcing Cloutier out of the game with both a concussion and whiplash.[44] The injury caused him to miss five games.[21] Soon after returning, Cloutier was re-injured in a game against the Mighty Ducks of Anaheim on November 20, when forward Rob Niedermayer skated into the crease and collided with Cloutier. He stayed in net to complete the game, a 3–2 win, and was on the bench the following game to backup Auld. However, after aggravating the knee in a practice on November 23, an MRI revealed a partially torn anterior cruciate ligament (ACL). Electing for reconstructive knee surgery, occurring on December 15, Cloutier missed the remainder of the season.[45]

As the Canucks missed the playoffs in 2006, several changes were made to team personnel in the off-season. One such change included the acquisition of All-Star goaltender Roberto Luongo from the Florida Panthers. Shortly after Luongo was acquired, Cloutier was traded to the Los Angeles Kings on July 5, 2006, for a second-round draft pick in 2007 and a conditional pick in 2009.[39] Cloutier finished his five-and-a-half-year tenure with the Canucks third on the team's all-time wins list with 109, behind Kirk McLean and Richard Brodeur,[46] and second in shutouts with 14, behind McLean.[47] In a 2012 interview following his retirement, Cloutier stated that he "loved playing in Vancouver the most" during his NHL career. He recalled the city's regeneration into a hockey market and described how the team went from playing home games that "seemed half full" to creating a "playoff game atmosphere every night."[48]

Los Angeles Kings (2006–08)[edit]

Cloutier with the Kings in 2006

Leading up to the 2006–07 season, Cloutier signed a two-year, $6.2 million contract extension with the Kings on September 27, 2006. He had one year, valued at $2.55 million, remaining on his existing contract, which was transferred over from the Canucks.[49] Cloutier moved to the Kings alongside head coach Marc Crawford, who was hired by the team shortly after being let go by the Canucks in the 2006 off-season.

Cloutier made his Kings debut in the first game of the regular season, a 4–3 loss to the Anaheim Ducks on October 6, 2006. He made 28 saves on 32 shots.[50] During his first week of the regular season, he suffered a hip injury, but continued playing on the insistence of team management.[51] In retrospect, he later recalled that his "biggest mistake was playing hurt for them."[29] The Kings organization also had Cloutier change his goaltender mask from the uncommon mask/cage style to the more traditional full-fibreglass style for safety and insurance purposes.[51] After recording 6 wins in 24 games and a 3.98 GAA, Cloutier's hip forced him to end his season, aggravating it on December 23, 2006, in a 7–0 loss to the Nashville Predators.[52]

At the time, the injury was still believed to be minor and Cloutier volunteered to continue playing in lieu of backup Mathieu Garon also being sidelined with a broken finger. When the pain in his hip quickly got worse, Cloutier appealed to team management. He saw a specialist who diagnosed him with a torn hip labrum and told him the injury could put his career in jeopardy.[48] He was subsequently flown to Colorado for surgery on January 12, 2007.[51][52] Cloutier remained in Colorado for ongoing treatment and was lodged by the organization in a motel 50 kilometres away from the clinic.[51] The Kings' original insistence that he play and his subsequent lodging proved to be a contentious issue for Cloutier.[51]

Having recovered from his injury, he returned for training camp in September 2007. He was assigned to the Kings' AHL affiliate, the Manchester Monarchs, after losing a roster spot to goaltenders Jason LaBarbera and Jonathan Bernier. During his stint with Manchester, Cloutier struggled to earn playing time,[51] as younger goaltenders Jonathan Quick, Danny Taylor and Erik Ersberg were given more opportunity to play.[53] At one point, he reported to the team's arena in preparation for a road trip, but was left in Manchester in favour of the team's other goaltenders.[51][54] To Cloutier's surprise,[51] he was recalled by Los Angeles on February 7, 2008, while Kings backup Jean-Sebastien Aubin was sent down in his place.[55] After clearing re-entry waivers, he joined the Kings' roster to backup LaBarbera. Three days later, Cloutier started in goal against the Columbus Blue Jackets; he recorded his first NHL win in over a year, backstopping the Kings to a 3–2 shootout victory.[56] After LaBarbera became sidelined with a groin injury, Cloutier began earning additional playing time with the Kings. On March 10, he played against the Canucks for the first time since being traded.[54] He stopped 38 shots in a 2–1 overtime loss against his former teammates.[57] Later that month, he suffered a groin injury and missed three games.[21] Remaining with the Kings for the remainder of the 2007–08 season as backup to Ersberg,[51] he recorded 2 wins in 9 games with a 3.44 GAA and .887 save percentage.

In the subsequent off-season, Cloutier's remaining year on his contract was bought out by the Kings on June 21, 2008.[58] As teams cannot buyout the contract of an injured player, Cloutier claimed he was not healthy and contested the move.[59] However, the NHL ruled in favour of the Kings; the buyout stood and Cloutier became an unrestricted free agent.[60] Consequently, he received $2 million over the next two years from the Kings.[59]

Without an NHL job, Cloutier took up an assistant coaching position in the Central Hockey League (CHL) with his older brother Sylvain Cloutier, who had just been hired as head coach of the Corpus Christi IceRays.[61]

Return to hockey and retirement (2009–10)[edit]

After remaining inactive for a season, Cloutier was offered a tryout with the Canucks for the team's 2009 training camp. Soon thereafter, he accepted another tryout offer from the Detroit Red Wings on September 4, 2009, sensing he had a better chance to secure a contract with the latter team.[62] He was expected to compete with Jimmy Howard for the Wings' backup position.[63] On September 21, Cloutier made his first and only pre-season appearance with the Red Wings, splitting a game with Wings prospect Daniel Larsson; he stopped all eight shots he faced in a 4-2 loss against the New York Rangers.[64] While Red Wings general manager Ken Holland said Cloutier "looked sharp" in his first NHL action since April 5, 2008, he also alluded to the media that the amount of goaltenders competing for spots within the Red Wings organization was a factor against the likelihood of him signing Cloutier.[65] Three days later, he was officially released from the Red Wings.[66]

Cloutier subsequently received several offers to play in Europe until signing a tryout contract with the Rockford IceHogs of the AHL in December 2009. He reportedly had received offers from two other North American teams, but chose Rockford as the best choice for his family. Cloutier made his IceHogs debut on December 6 against the Manitoba Moose, marking his return to professional hockey after 18 months. He played 26 minutes before receiving a match penalty for punching Moose player Guillaume Desbiens after the opposing forward collided with him in his crease. The following day, Cloutier was additionally suspended by the AHL for one game.[67] After serving his ban, he recorded his first win the IceHogs against the Texas Stars on December 12. Cloutier began receiving interest from NHL teams, but his hip began acting up once again.[68] By the end of the month, Cloutier and the IceHogs mutually agreed to terminate his tryout contract. He recorded one win and one loss in three games with the IceHogs, along with a 2.47 GAA and .893 save percentage.[69] In a later interview, published on the Canucks' website in August 2010, Cloutier declared he was most likely retiring due to chronic injury troubles.[29]

International play[edit]

Medal record
Competitor for Canada Canada
Ice hockey
World Junior Championships
Gold 1995 Canada

During Cloutier's OHL career, he competed in the 1995 World Junior Championships. He went undefeated in three games with a 2.67 GAA to help Canada win a gold medal as the host country in Red Deer, Alberta. Cloutier missed a second opportunity to play for the Canadian national junior team the following year due to a shoulder injury suffered during OHL play.[1]

On May 4, 2001, he was added to the Canadian men's team's roster for the 2001 World Championships.[24] One of four goaltenders on the roster, alongside Roberto Luongo, Jean-Sebastien Giguere and Fred Brathwaite,[70] he did not appear in any games.[71] Canada finished the tournament in fifth place.[72]

Coaching career[edit]

Following his release from the Los Angeles Kings in 2008, Cloutier joined his brother, Sylvain Cloutier's coaching staff on the Central Hockey League (CHL)'s Corpus Christi IceRays as a de facto assistant coach.[61] He served in that capacity for the 2008–09 season until his failed attempt at an NHL return in 2009. In July 2010, Cloutier signed a one-year contract to become a part-time goaltending coach with the OHL's Barrie Colts.[29]

Return to Canucks[edit]

In September 2012 Cloutier was hired by the Vancouver Canucks as a goaltending consultant. Mostly to work with prospect goaltenders in the AHL's Chicago Wolves.

Personal life[edit]

Cloutier was born to Ivan and Susan Cloutier in Mont-Laurier, Quebec.[61] He moved with his family at a young age to Sault Ste. Marie, Ontario,[61] as a result of his father's work as a logger.[8] Having grown up in both French and English communities, Cloutier is bilingual.[8] Cloutier's older brother, Sylvain is also a hockey player who once captained the OHL's Guelph Storm. After a professional career with the Coventry Blaze in England, Sylvain became a head coach for the minor professional Corpus Christi IceRays of the CHL in 2008. He is currently player-coach of the Hull Stingrays of the UK Elite League, having held this post since 2009.

Playing minor hockey in Sault Ste. Marie, Cloutier was at one time on the same bantam team[notes 2] as another future NHL goaltender, Marty Turco.[31] Like many Quebec-born goaltenders of his time, Cloutier patterned the butterfly elements of his playing style after Hall of Fame goaltender Patrick Roy.[31][73]

Cloutier and his wife Nikki, have a daughter named Kali, born in December 2007,[51] and a son named Kane, born in June 2010.[68] Following his playing career, his family moved to Barrie, Ontario.[48]

In November 2005, following Cloutier's season-ending ACL injury, a rumour began circling in the media that he was being investigated for a hit-and-run accident that killed two people outside a Gastown nightclub. Cloutier never commented on the record, while his agent later refuted the rumour, saying it was "Absolutely untrue" and that Cloutier "was livid with that story."[74]

Career statistics[edit]

Regular season[edit]

   
Season Team League GP W L T OTL MIN GA SO GAA SV%
1991–92 St. Thomas Stars WOHL 14 823 80 5.83
1992–93 Timmins Golden Bears NOJHL 5 4 0 0 255 10 0 2.35
1992–93 Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds OHL 12 4 6 0 572 44 0 4.62
1993–94 Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds OHL 55 28 14 6 2934 174 2 3.56
1994–95 Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds OHL 45 15 26 2 2518 185 1 4.41
1995–96 Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds OHL 13 9 3 0 641 43 0 4.02
1995–96 Guelph Storm OHL 17 12 2 2 1004 35 2 2.09
1996–97 Binghamton Rangers AHL 60 23 28 8 3367 199 3 3.55 .892
1997–98 New York Rangers NHL 12 4 5 1 551 23 0 2.50 .907
1997–98 Hartford Wolf Pack AHL 24 13 8 3 1417 62 0 2.63 .917
1998–99 New York Rangers NHL 22 6 8 3 1096 49 0 2.68 .914
1999–00 Tampa Bay Lightning NHL 52 9 30 3 2492 145 0 3.49 .885
2000–01 Tampa Bay Lightning NHL 24 3 13 3 1005 59 1 3.52 .891
2000–01 Vancouver Canucks NHL 16 4 6 5 914 37 0 2.43 .894
2000–01 Detroit Vipers IHL 1 0 1 0 59 3 0 3.05 .903
2001–02 Vancouver Canucks NHL 62 31 22 5 3501 142 7 2.43 .901
2002–03 Vancouver Canucks NHL 57 33 16 7 3376 136 2 2.42 .908
2003–04 Vancouver Canucks NHL 60 33 21 6 3539 134 5 2.27 .914
2004–05 EC KAC AUS 13 7 0 5 722 25 1 1.94
2005–06 Vancouver Canucks NHL 13 8 3 1 680 36 0 3.17 .892
2006–07 Los Angeles Kings NHL 24 6 14 2 1281 85 0 3.98 .860
2007–08 Manchester Monarchs AHL 14 4 9 719 42 0 3.50 .869
2007–08 Los Angeles Kings NHL 9 2 4 1 247 28 0 3.44 .887
2009–10 Rockford IceHogs AHL 3 1 1 0 146 6 0 2.47 .893
NHL totals 351 139 142 33 4 18,928 874 15 2.77 .899
AHL totals 101 40 46 11 0 5649 309 3 3.28 .896
OHL totals 142 68 51 10 7669 481 5 3.76

Playoffs[edit]

   
Season Team League GP W L MIN GA SO GAA SV%
1993 Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds OHL 4 1 2 231 12 0 3.12
1994 Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds OHL 14 10 4 833 52 0 3.75
1996 Guelph Storm OHL 16 11 5 993 52 2 3.14
1996 MC Guelph Storm CHL 3 0 3 180 12 0 4.00
1997 Binghamton Rangers AHL 4 1 3 236 13 0 3.31 .893
1998 Hartford Wolf Pack AHL 8 5 3 478 24 0 3.01 .921
2001 Vancouver Canucks NHL 2 0 2 117 9 0 4.63 .842
2002 Vancouver Canucks NHL 6 2 3 273 16 0 3.51 .870
2003 Vancouver Canucks NHL 14 7 7 833 45 0 3.24 .868
2004 Vancouver Canucks NHL 3 1 1 138 5 0 2.17 .922
2005 EC KAC Aus 10 6 4 590 27 1 2.75
NHL totals 25 10 13 1361 75 0 3.31 .872
AHL totals 12 6 6 714 37 0 3.11 .913
OHL totals 34 22 11 2057 116 2 3.38

International[edit]

   
Year Country Event GP W L T MIN GA SO GAA SV%
1995 Canada Jr. WJC 3 3 0 0 180 8 0 2.67
Int'l totals 3 3 0 0 180 8 0 2.67
  • Career statistics taken from Cloutier's TSN.ca profile.[21]

Awards[edit]

Award Year
OHL Second All-Star Team 1996[21]
Dave Pinkney Trophy
(OHL's lowest team GAA; shared with Brett Thompson)
1996[21]

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ The remaining 2 games consistute "non-decisions" in which Cloutier was not on the ice when the game-winning goal was scored.
  2. ^ Bantam is the minor hockey level for 13- and 14-year-olds in Canada.

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d Berkovich, Karlo (1996-01-22). "New Guelph goalie living up to his reputation". The Record (Kitchener, Ontario). Retrieved 2011-04-21. 
  2. ^ Doyle, Paul (1994-06-29). "1994 NHL Entry Draft: Rangers go for goalie at end of first round". Hartford Courant (Hartford, Connecticut). Retrieved 2011-04-21. 
  3. ^ "Transactions". The New York Times. 1994-09-14. Retrieved 2011-04-21. 
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  5. ^ "Rangers sign two top picks". The New York Times. 1995-07-07. Retrieved 2011-04-08. 
  6. ^ "Storm edges Detroit in OT". The Record (Kitchener, Ontario). 1996-01-20. Retrieved 2011-04-21. 
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  9. ^ "Rookie goalkeeper stops Carolina". Herald-Journal (Spartanburg, South Carolina: New York Times Company). 1998-01-04. Retrieved 2011-04-08. 
  10. ^ Privman, Jay (1998-01-07). "With Cloutier Still In Goal, Rangers Win Again". The New York Times. Retrieved 2011-04-08. 
  11. ^ Brown, Frank (1998-04-05). "Rangers fall with a fight Milbury apology is a sorry excuse". New York Daily News. Retrieved 2014-12-16. 
  12. ^ "Whitmore signed as a backup". The New York Times. 1998-08-18. Retrieved 2011-04-08. 
  13. ^ "Kay Whitmore". National Hockey League. Retrieved 2011-04-08. 
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  15. ^ "Kolzig, Capitals shutdown Bruins". Boca Raton News. Associated Press. 2000-12-03. Retrieved 2011-04-21. 
  16. ^ Cristodero, Damian (2001-02-08). "Cloutier sent packing". St. Petersburg Times. Retrieved 2011-04-21. 
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External links[edit]

Preceded by
Niklas Sundström
New York Rangers first round draft pick
1994
Succeeded by
Jeff Brown