Bruiser McLaren nearing return to Sharks

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Bruiser McLaren nearing return to Sharks

SAN JOSE Frazer McLaren is finally nearing his return to professional hockey.

The 6-5, 250-pound winger, who had hip surgery in the offseason and hasnt played a game in nearly eight months, will be taken off of injured reserve on Saturday and reassigned to Worcester on a two-week conditioning assignment.

He originally hurt the hip while playing for the Sharks AHL affiliate, and tried to play through it until March. When it didn't fully heal, he opted to have a procedure on May 2 that has sidelined him ever since.

Its been almost a year since Ive played in the NHL and about eight months since I played a game, he said after Fridays practice at Sharks Ice. Its good that theyve taken me off of the injured reserve list, but obviously a part of coming back to the NHL is Ive got to go down and play some games down there and feel good."

McLaren figures there will be some butterflies mixed in with the excitement of getting back into game action.

Id be lying if I said I wasnt nervous, he said. I dont think Ive ever gone almost a year without playing hockey. So, Im nervous, but really excited, as well. After a few shifts Im sure Ill get back into the swing of things.

Im sure I'll make some mistakes, but Ill get to play some games and get better.

Head coach Todd McLellan, who has been critical at times this season of the teams third and fourth lines, will have McLaren as an option by the end of the month.

Hell get to play some games (in Worcester). Its been almost a year. Then, hell be back up and ready to go, said the coach. We think hell be an important piece, as well.

In 32 career NHL games, McLaren has one goal and five assists for six points and 76 penalty minutes. He signed a one-year contract with the Sharks on June 30, 2011.

Sharks recall trio as bye week concludes

Sharks recall trio as bye week concludes

VANCOUVER – Kevin Labanc, Barclay Goodrow and Tim Heed have accompanied the Sharks to Vancouver, and will presumably be available to play against the Canucks on Saturday in the first game after the bye week.

Forwards Timo Meier, Nikolay Goldobin and Marcus Sorensen, all of whom have played games with the NHL club this season, remain with the AHL Barracuda for the time being.

Labanc, 21, has 18 points (7g, 11a) in 45 games this season. Lately he has been skating as the left wing on the top line with Joe Thornton and Joe Pavelski, and is looking to snap a 21-game goal drought.

Goodrow, 23, has played one game with the Sharks this season, going scoreless on Jan. 24 at Winnipeg. Unless the Sharks recall someone else before their game with the Canucks, Goodrow will likely play his second game as the team is carrying just 12 healthy forwards as of Friday afternoon. Joonas Donskoi did not accompany the Sharks to Vancouver, and remains day-to-day with what the club is offically calling an upper body injury but appears to be a right shoulder.

Heed, likely the seventh defenseman in case of emergency, has also played one scoreless game on Jan. 11 at Calgary.

Dylan DeMelo made the trip, but is still not ready. The defenseman told CSN last week that he’s on schedule with an eight-week recovery from a broken right wrist that would put his return around early March.

Canucks battling mumps ahead of meeting with Sharks

Canucks battling mumps ahead of meeting with Sharks

Several Vancouver Canucks are battling an outbreak of the mumps ahead of a game on Saturday with the Sharks at Rogers Arena.

At least five players are expected to miss the game. Troy Stecher is the only player with a confirmed test result, general manager Jim Benning said in a statement, but Chris Tanev, Nikita Tryamkin, Mike Chaput and Markus Granlund “have each presented symptoms.”

Players with symptoms are “immediately being tested and quarantined in isolation for a five-day period from the onset of symptoms or until test results prove negative.”

Vancouver Coastal Health authorities were on hand at Rogers Arena on Friday to screen players and staff, and issue immunizations if necessary.

The Sharks and Canucks will both be coming off of their bye week when they play for the second of five times this season.