Clowe, Sharks have had preliminary talks

Coach Clowe in his element

Clowe, Sharks have had preliminary talks
January 26, 2013, 11:45 am
Share This Post

SAN JOSE – Sharks forward Ryane Clowe confirmed to CSNCalifornia.com an ESPN report that he’s had preliminary discussions with the club about a contract extension, but nothing is imminent.

Clowe is in the final season of a four-year, $14.5 million contract, and is due to become an unrestricted free agent this summer.

On Friday, Clowe said: “We talked a little bit before the lockout there, just touching bases and a feeling out process. Nothing too serious. At some point here I’m sure we’ll talk again, but I can’t say there’s been anything really serious.”

Could something get done before the end of the season?

“Sure. I think more or less whenever both sides get together and agree on working towards a deal, you’d like to get it done quickly. You don’t want it to drag out. But, it just hasn’t gotten to the point where it’s been enough serious talks to say that.

“I kind of told my agent, during the season, whatever happens happens, but I’m just trying to focus on hockey. If we talk, we talk, if we don’t, I’m fine with that too. After last year, I just want to focus on having a good year.”

Clowe, 30, was brought up through the organization since he was drafted in the sixth round of the 2001 draft, and would prefer to remain a Shark past this season.

“Obviously, this is where I’ve been my whole career, and I’d like to stay here for awhile,” he said. “Hopefully something gets done sooner rather than later, but we all know how that works.”

The Sharks already have $53.7 million tied up in 13 players next season according to CapGeek.com, with the NHL’s salary cap set at $64.3 million. It could be tricky for them to keep Clowe without shedding salary elsewhere, either by trade or using a compliance buyout. Each club is allowed two buyouts this offseason, as part of the recent CBA agreement.

Clowe had 45 points (17g, 28a) in 76 games last season, a decline of 17 points from 2010-11. He battled a concussion that was only revealed by the club after the season.

In the first three games this season, Clowe has one assist while playing on the Sharks’ second line with Logan Couture and Marty Havlat.

Sharks general manager Doug Wilson declined to comment, citing team policy.