Although it appears Ryane Clowe wont be playing for the San Francisco Bulls any time soon, there will still be a couple of NHLers skating this weekend at the Cow Palace, including one who is very familiar to the Bay Area.
Devin Setoguchi made his debut with the ECHLs Ontario Reign on Wednesday at home against San Francisco, recording a pair of assists in a 3-1 win. The teams meet again on Saturday.
The former Sharks forwards debut was delayed a bit as he had to clear up some issues with his work visa, but hes now a full-time member of the Reign. He spoke with the San Bernardino Sun earlier this week about his decision, and his reasons for playing essentially mirror what Clowe told CSNCalifornia.com on Thursday.
"It's nice to get in here and get in full practices, get the good sweat on, a good workout, get back to being involved in certain situations that you wouldn't be in your normal day skates, Setoguchi said.
Like Clowe, Setoguchi was hoping that the NHL season would have started by now.
"I didn't want to have to come here. Don't take that the wrong way, but I never wanted to have to do that. We (the NHL Players' Association) wanted to stick together and hopefully have it resolved sooner rather than later. Right now it's later rather than sooner."
The NHL and NHLPA were meeting for the fourth consecutive day on Friday, although reports suggest there hasn't been a whole lot of progress.
Besides Clowe, the Bulls have signed Edmonton Oilers defenseman Theo Peckham, who has 154 games of NHL experience. The 6-foot-2, 235-pounder has four goals and 13 assists for 17 points in his pro career, along with a whopping 382 penalty minutes. He made his Bulls debut on Wednesday in Ontario.
The 24-year-old Peckham and Clowe have a bit of a history, having dropped the gloves during a game on Jan. 13, 2011, according to hockeyfights.com (Clowe was adjudged the winner of the fight by 85 percent of that sites users, although play-by-play man Randy Hahn referred to it as more of a wrestling match).
The Bulls host the Stockton Thunder on Friday before Ontario visits on Saturday. Both games begin at 7:15 p.m. Giants playoff hero Sergio Romo will drop the ceremonial first puck on Friday.
Winchester finds a home
Brad Winchester, who almost certainly wont be back with the Sharks next season, has found a home for the lockout (and perhaps beyond).
According to a report, Winchester will join the Finnish team TuTo in the second tier Mestis league. Thats the same league where forward Tommy Wingels is currently plying his trade for KooKoo.
The pair could get a chance to catch up when TuTo and KooKoo meet on Dec. 12 (say that three times fast).
Winchester, 31, signed a one-year deal with the Sharks just prior to last season after a preseason tryout. Hes an unrestricted free agent after putting up 10 points (6g, 4a) in 67 games with San Jose in 2011-12.