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San Jose Sharks Ryane Clowe (29) gets into a fight with Los Angeles Kings Alec Martinez (27) in the third period at HP Pavilion in San Jose, Calif., on Thursday, March 14, 2013. (Josie Lepe/Staff)

SAN JOSE -- The only real suspense was where Ryane Clowe would end up, and now he'll be calling Madison Square Garden home.

Tuesday, the Sharks traded the veteran power forward to the New York Rangers for three draft picks in a deal that he helped engineer rather than force San Jose to live with the no-trade clause in his about-to-expire, four-year, $14.5 million contract.

"Many teams were involved, but this was Ryane's call," Sharks general manager Doug Wilson said. "I included Ryane right from day one, and he had full say in the whole thing. This is typical Ryane. What in fact was best for us probably was best for him, and he enabled us to get a very strong return."

To get Clowe, the Rangers gave up their second-round pick in the 2013 draft, a third-round 2013 pick obtained from the Florida Panthers and a conditional pick in the 2014 draft. If New York wins two playoff rounds with Clowe or re-signs him for next season, San Jose gets the Rangers' second-round pick next summer. If neither happens, a fifth-round pick changes hands.

As many as six teams expressed interest in Clowe, but he said it was down to three as the time neared for a decision -- the Rangers, Philadelphia Flyers and Vancouver Canucks. Getting into the playoffs was important, and that hurt the Flyers' chances, making it a choice between the Eastern and Western conferences.

Clowe, who grew up in Newfoundland, said geography "had a little bit to do with it," but it wasn't as big a factor as simply being ready for new hockey scenery and the excitement of playing in New York.

"It was just the opportunity to play in the East and see what happens there," Clowe said. "It'll be a change and probably what I needed."

Tuesday's trade was consistent with the game plan Wilson established in the weeks approaching the noon Wednesday NHL trade deadline.

With three of his team's older players set to become unrestricted free agents on July 1, Wilson opted to move them for draft picks rather than offer contract extensions now or take the chance they might walk away with no compensation this summer.

First Douglas Murray, 33, was sent to the Pittsburgh Penguins on March 25. Then Michal Handzus, 36, was shipped to the Chicago Blackhawks on Monday. Tuesday, it was Clowe, 30, leaving.

Wilson called his approach "reset and refresh," a method he said would keep the Sharks competitive and fill the lineup with players more suited to the style of play his team is trying to adopt. Each of the moves has helped make the Sharks younger and faster.

The fact that Clowe still is without a goal this season after playing in 28 games may have made the decision to trade him a little easier, and Clowe said he understands that.

"Expectations are high for the team and me as a player," he said. "When that doesn't happen, it's 'what have you done for me lately?' That's just how it is."

Clowe, the Sharks' sixth-round pick in the 2001 draft, developed into a power forward who could score, play a physical game and drop the gloves. Over seven-plus seasons with San Jose, he had 101 goals, 271 points and 567 penalty minutes in 423 games.

Wilson has shrugged off the idea that he was trying to deliver a message to his team with the trades. But since the Murray deal, San Jose is on a five-game winning streak going into Wednesday night's game against the Minnesota Wild and has climbed to sixth place in the Western Conference.

For more on the Sharks, see David Pollak's Working the Corners blog at blogs.mercurynews.com/sharks. Follow him on Twitter at twitter.com/PollakOnSharks.

WEDNESDAY'S GAME

Minnesota (21-12-2) at Sharks (18-11-6), 7:30 p.m. CSNCA