It wasn’t as much a cross-river coup as it was a move made out of necessity, so at Friday’s opening of the NHL free-agent market, Ryane Clowe went west.

The 30-year-old power forward, who finished last season with the Rangers, signed a sweetheart five-year deal with the Devils worth $4.85 million per year. If the price was steep, the spot Clowe will take on the roster is one of importance, because former Devils forward David Clarkson left for a massive seven-year, $36.75 million deal with the Maple Leafs.

“On draft day, we made a substantial offer to Clarkson, once that was rejected, we turned the page on that situation,” general manager Lou Lamoriello told The Post Friday night. “We focused on trying to put a player of similar style and Ryane Clowe was the individual we had targeted and we feel very good about him.

“He’s the type of player that makes everyone else an inch taller.”

Lamoriello also added some scoring touch by signing Michael Ryder to a two-year deal worth $3.5 million per year. Ryder, 33, had 10 goals in 27 games for the Canadiens last season, and had back-to-back 30-goal years in Montreal from 2005-07.

“I like our hockey team right now,” Lamoriello said, “but we’ll continue to try and get better. You’re never satisfied.”

The acquisition of Clowe was also made possible because of the Rangers’ minimal amount of space under the salary cap. By virtue of his leaving New York, the Rangers now send the Sharks a fifth-round pick instead of the second-rounder they would have if he stayed.