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Back To His Roots

Monday, 08.6.2012 / 11:00 AM ET / News
By Joseph Beguiristain  - FloridaPanthers.com
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Back To His Roots
Clemmensen makes a stop against his former team, the New Jersey Devils this past season (Getty Images)

Not much could top last summer for Panthers goalie Scott Clemmensen. Last year, his second daughter was born and it’s hard to beat getting married or the birth of a child. This summer, things have been a little “ho-hum” for Clemmensen as the only thing special he has done is have his daughter baptized.

In saying that, the goalie does go "home" each off-season. Every summer, the goalie heads out to his native Iowa for a week to see his family and return to his roots. Usually he would have some sort of public appearance scheduled while he is there, but that is not the case this summer.

“I don’t have anything planned for this week,” Clemmensen explained when asked about being in Iowa this past Tuesday. “Normally I do one with the Urbandale Public library, but I’m not on the docket this year.

“We just flew in (Monday) so we’ve only been here a day, so we got the whole week to see the family and visit my grandparents who live out in Western Iowa as well.”

Returning to Iowa always brings back memories for Clemmensen, who is still to this day the only NHL player born in Iowa. He hopes to be an inspiration for all those playing hockey in his home state.

“It’s [being the only Iowa born player in the NHL] definitely something that I’m proud of and take pride in and I hope that I can inspire and serve as a role model and an example of making it at the highest level,” he said.

Looking back on his time playing in youth leagues growing up, Clemmensen remembers having to travel a lot because Iowa isn’t necessarily a “hockey hot-bed.” Perhaps making his own camp or having his own school like teammate Mike Weaver might be in the making at some point in time.

“[The competition in Iowa] is getting better and I hope we’ll see more Iowans playing at the higher levels and in the NHL,” Clemmensen said. “I don’t spend a lot of time here in the summer, but hopefully that can change as my kids get a little bit older and [when I retire] [having my own camp is] always something that I think would be beneficial to the hockey community here and something that I would seriously think about doing.”

For now, Clemmensen is excited about the future for the Panthers. He’s so excited that he will be moving down to Florida in the next few weeks. He said that last season was very different from his previous two years and he thought the team definitely made some great progress moving forward.

The goalie was put into some tough situations last year and he usually came out victorious. He defeated teams like the Kings, Flyers, Canucks, Sharks, and Capitals. He finished the year with a 14-6-6 record and a 2.57 GAA.

“We obviously had a lot of new faces last year and one of those new faces included our head coach,” he recalled. “It created a very fun environment to be in and the team had some relative success throughout the season. We were fortunate enough to be in the hunt for the division title pretty much all season long.”

Clemmensen describes his relationship with starting goalie, Jose Theodore as a “healthy competition” and he was happy to see his hard work payoff with a two-year contract extension that he signed on July 1.

“To be a part of a positive transition, I got to obviously experience a lot of the things that go with it- some of the pains and some of the gains,” the ten-year vet explained. “Last year was such a fun season for me and I’ve enjoyed my time in Florida [and] I was happy to sign a two-year contract.”




1 p - WSH 82 56 18 8 252 193 120
2 x - PIT 82 48 26 8 245 203 104
3 y - FLA 82 47 26 9 239 203 103
4 x - NYR 82 46 27 9 236 217 101
5 x - NYI 82 45 27 10 232 216 100
6 x - TBL 82 46 31 5 227 201 97
7 x - PHI 82 41 27 14 214 218 96
8 x - DET 82 41 30 11 211 224 93
9 BOS 82 42 31 9 240 230 93
10 CAR 82 35 31 16 198 226 86
11 OTT 82 38 35 9 236 247 85
12 NJD 82 38 36 8 184 208 84
13 MTL 82 38 38 6 221 236 82
14 BUF 82 35 36 11 201 222 81
15 CBJ 82 34 40 8 219 252 76
16 TOR 82 29 42 11 198 246 69


J. Jagr 79 27 39 23 66
J. Jokinen 81 18 42 25 60
A. Barkov 66 28 31 18 59
J. Huberdeau 76 20 39 17 59
V. Trocheck 76 25 28 15 53
R. Smith 82 25 25 19 50
A. Ekblad 78 15 21 18 36
N. Bjugstad 67 15 19 -8 34
B. Campbell 82 6 25 31 31
B. Pirri 52 11 13 -4 24
R. Luongo 35 19 6 .922 2.35
A. Montoya 12 7 3 .919 2.18

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