Yes, there are worse things to be than a locked out NHL hockey player.
Take San Jose Sharks Ryane Clowe and Brent Burns, for example the pair continued its tour of professional Bay Area stadiums on Tuesday night by taking in the Giants-Rockies game at AT&T Park after witnessing the 49ers dominant victory together on Sunday night at Candlestick.
But first, they were gracious enough to swing by the set of Comcast SportsNets Chronicle Live. Obviously, the first topic they addressed was the ugly labor battle between the NHL and the NHLPA, which is threatening the start if not the entire 2012-13 season.
Clowe, who voiced his optimism last week before the expiration of the last CBA on Saturday, somewhat surprisingly kept that same tone with host Dave Feldman.
I think Im very optimistic. I think most guys are. The season obviously hasnt officially started as far as missing games or anything yet. We still think theres time, he said.
Its definitely frustrating right now. We feel bad for the fans who are in a bit of a holding pattern, and dont know whats going to happen. We feel optimistic. Everyone is kind of working out and skating on their own right now, and trying to stay ready.
Burns, who, along with Clowe is one of several locked out Sharks that are skating on their own at the teams practice facility, said: Its frustrating for everybody right now, but for us youve got to stay in shape and stay optimistic that it will get done, and when it does get done were ready to go.
With the league shut down, several Sharks are already on their way to Europe, including Logan Couture and Joe Thornton (Switzerland); Jason Demers (Finland) and Michal Handzus (Slovakia).
RELATED: Couture, Thornton among Sharks headed overseas
For now, Clowe is staying put in the hopes that the labor battle ends quickly.
I think you get serious after a month or so when it looks like this might be dragged on, but like I said, most guys dont think it will be that long, he said. Im not in a rush right now to go anywhere. I feel like as of right now, youre in shape and ready as if training camp was going to start, so you dont need to really go get in game shape.
Burns is also sticking around, but for a different reason the defenseman said that hes currently rehabbing, although did not specify what sort of injury hes rehabbing from. At the end of the season, Burns was listed on the teams injury report as having lower abdominal discomfort.
It sounds as if the eight-year NHL veteran would welcome the chance to go overseas if he gets healthy and the lockout continues, though.
For me, my kids are young enough where I think its a great opportunity to go and see part of the world that you maybe not get to go to, he told the San Jose Mercury News Mark Purdy. I think as players, we just want to play.
Clowe and Burns both think that the next few days are critical in the labor process, as its not expected the league will cancel any regular season games until the end of September. The Sharks are scheduled to begin on Oct. 12 in Anaheim, while the scheduled start of training camp on Sep. 21 will come and go.
I think the important time is coming up now, and thats when labor talks are going to have to take off, Burns said.
Clowe echoed Feldmans assessment that the game has grown in leaps and bounds since the previous lockout when the entire 2004-05 season was canceled.
Thats why I think most people are optimistic. You feel like theres too much to lose right now, he said. Eventually, something will get done. Right now, they could be a little bit far apart, but we need to get some talks going and get some traction. We feel like that will happen soon.