Clendening: 'I'm Not Going Anywhere'
by Scott McLaughlin/CHN Writer
The last week has been a real-life Nightmare Before Christmas for the Boston University Terriers. It started when leading scorer and first-line center Corey Trivino was arrested Sunday night and then dismissed from the team the next day. Then on Friday, second-line center Charlie Coyle left BU and signed with the Saint John Sea Dogs of the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League.
One day later, rumors began to swirl that things were going to get even worse for the Terriers. The Boston College Hockey Blog, which was the first outlet to report the rumors of Coyle leaving, reported that "another top player on BU is considering leaving," but didn't name the player.
Multiple sources told College Hockey News that the report was likely referring to defenseman Adam Clendening, as they had heard similar rumors. Mike Mullowney, the founder of the BC blog and son of former BC player Mike Mullowney, has since confirmed to CHN that the post did in fact refer to Clendening.
In a phone interview with CHN on Monday night, Clendening denied that there was any truth to those rumors.
"I will absolutely deny that," Clendening said. "I'm not going anywhere. I'm going back and playing the second semester at BU. Help us finish out the season, be a big part of that, and just continue doing what I've been doing. But yeah, I will absolutely deny that rumor. It's nowhere near the truth."
Clendening was then reminded that Coyle told reporters from The Daily Free Press that he was still with BU mere hours before he signed with Saint John. Clendening said there won't be any surprises with him, though.
"No. No. BU's been great for my development," he said. "Everyone will see when I go back for the second semester that I'm not going anywhere. Once that day comes, I can show people that the truth is the truth and I'm not going anywhere. Up until that day, I guess everybody can speculate all they want, but I know what I'm gonna do, and that's stay at BU for the next semester. After the season, I'll talk to the Blackhawks and see if they want me or if they want me to stay at BU for another year."
Clendening also talked about a number of other topics, including Trivino's dismissal and Coyle's departure.
Scott McLaughlin: So you're at World Junior camp right now. Last year you were one of the final cuts. What have you taken from that experience for this year?
Adam Clendening: I'm just trying to do the stuff I normally do. Play my game and not try to think too much or try to get recognized. Just play my style and not worry about trying to impress people. Just try to fit the role they want me to fit. Hopefully that's good enough to get a roster spot.
SM: Last year, Coach Parker said he thought that early in the season, you might've been pushing a little too much and trying to impress for World Juniors. Was that true? And did you feel more relaxed the first half of this season?
AC: I don't know. I feel like just being in your second year of college hockey, you feel more confident. You know what to expect. You know the different rinks, the different teams, the different players in the league, that kind of thing. You just get more comfortable and fall into your role, and your team's more confident in you. I wouldn't say I was nervous the first year, but the World Juniors were in my hometown, so I kind of put some pressure on myself to make it and play in front of my friends and family at home.
SM: I also wanted to ask you about everything going on at BU right now. Now that you've had a couple days to let it sink in a little, what are your thoughts and reactions?
AC: Not much, really. We just need to look forward and keep doing what we've been doing. I'm sure the coaches have thought about the adjustments that need to be made. We can't let it be that big of a deal. With Corey, nobody really knows exactly what happened and nobody can really comment on it. And Charlie's thing was a personal decision. I just feel like we're gonna have to soldier on, just keep going, and not change what we've been doing. We had a solid first half, I think, so we just have to keep doing what we're doing and some people will have to play a bigger role. That's it.
SM: You were roommates with Coyle at BU, correct?
AC: Yeah, I was.
SM: Did he talk to you at all leading up to his decision? And have you talked to him about it since?
AC: No. He told me about it on the plane on our way here. I think I was the first one to find out. But if he was thinking about it before, I had no idea about it. That's not for me to really worry about. I feel like it's his personal decision, and he was probably gonna do it anyways.
SM: There was an article on US Hockey Report saying some BU players were unhappy with some of Coach Parker's comments about Trivino's problems with alcohol. Do you think there's anything to that? Have you heard any of the guys complain about that?
AC: Honestly, I'm not sure. I left the day after we had our team meeting about Corey. I can't really comment because I haven't been around. I'm not sure. I wasn't around, so I can't really give you anything you're looking for.
SM: Personally, what was your reaction to his comments and how it was handled?
AC: I don't really know what happened to be honest. I know Corey has to go through the whole legal process. I'm sure he has top-notch people looking after him. I'm sure everyone's trying to make sure it's handled correctly.
SM: There's a rumor out there now that you're considering leaving BU after World Juniors. What's your reaction to that? Do you deny it?
AC: I will absolutely deny that. I'm not going anywhere. I'm going back and playing the second semester at BU. Help us finish out the season, be a big part of that, and just continue doing what I've been doing. But yeah, I will absolutely deny that rumor. It's nowhere near the truth.
SM: This isn't going to wind up like Coyle's situation, where you say you're on the team and then a few days later you're gone, is it?
AC: No. No. BU's been great for my development. Everyone will see when I go back for the second semester that I'm not going anywhere. Once that day comes, I can show people that the truth is the truth and I'm not going anywhere. Up until that day, I guess everybody can speculate all they want, but I know what I'm gonna do, and that's stay at BU for the next semester. After the season, I'll talk to the Blackhawks and see if they want me or if they want me to stay at BU for another year.
SM: So I know you're focused on World Juniors right now, but when you get back to BU, what do you guys have to do to overcome these two huge losses?
AC: Like I said, we just need to continue playing how we've been playing. Guys are gonna have to play bigger roles. Guys that have been playing big roles are gonna have to do even more. We're gonna have to get secondary scoring. Guys are gonna have to step up a little bit and just buy into the same system and same style we played in the first half.
SM: In an interview with The Boston Globe, Coyle said junior teams have been on him for the last couple years. Have you dealt with that to, where they're kind of always there?
AC: Yeah. It's a business. They're always gonna be around, just asking about you and that kind of thing. But people make their decision to go one way, and people have to deal with it. It was a personal decision for him. Other than that, I can't really tell you much more.
SM: Did he say anything to you about why he went to the Q instead of the AHL?
AC: He didn't say anything to me. I don't why he would, but I guess he just wanted to concentrate on playing hockey and worry only about hockey. That's about it.