Clowe out Thursday, maybe longer

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Clowe out Thursday, maybe longer

SAN JOSE Sharks forward Ryane Clowe doesnt have a timeline to return from a fracture in his face, but hinted that he may be sidelined until after the NHL All-Star break at the end of the month.

I think the fact that weve got four games, then a week off, its probably looking towards that a little bit, he said at Sharks Ice on Wednesday. It is day-to-day, and I dont know if Ill play before then or if I wont play before then. I wish we could say a timeline, but I just dont know.

Clowe was checked face-first into the glass by Minnesotas Justin Falk on Jan. 10, but played in the teams three subsequent games while wearing a cage that is, until he removed it during Sundays 4-3 loss in Chicago.

I got hit in Minnesota and the cage was on there to protect a facial fracture. Then it was just kind of annoying me, and I think we decided it was better just to rest and let it heal. Thats where were at.

Clowe also ruled out that the injury is anything concussion related, and isnt having any symptoms that might suggest he suffered a head injury. He is not scheduled to undergo any of the testing that is administered to concussion victims.

He admitted that removing the cage against the Blackhawks might not have been the best decision.

Maybe looking back, I could have been taking a chance, he said. Ive went 40 games without getting bumped on that part of the face, and youre willing sometimes to take that risk.

Hes also not having any trouble breathing due to the injury.

Nothing more than usual with this nose, he joked.

The Sharks play at home against Ottawa on Thursday before a three-game road trip through Canada leading up to the break, which begins on Jan. 25. San Jose hosts the Columbus Blue Jackets on Jan. 31.

Desjardins cleared

Andrew Desjardins passed his baseline concussion test on Wednesday morning and has been cleared to return. Desjardins was hit illegally in the head by Columbus Dane Byers on Saturday, and has missed the last two games.

Both he and Todd McLellan were relieved that hes able to return so soon, since head injuries are so unpredictable.

I was kind of anxious the whole day to get the test and the results and everything, Desjardins said. Its a good day.

The rookie center skated on Tuesday at HP Pavilion, and was a full participant in practice on Wednesday.

McLellan used the example of David Perron when referencing the unpredictability of concussions. Perron missed more than a year after getting hit by Joe Thornton during a game against the Sharks last season with a head injury.

You can refer back to the David Perron hit from last year, where he finished the game, felt not bad the next day, and then days later it took him an awful long time to come back.

Fortunately for us, Desi did a good job in his recovery, and seems to be very fresh.

One more medical note defenseman Jason Demers took a maintenance day on Wednesday but will play against Ottawa on Thursday.

Report: Division rival interested in Joe Thornton

Report: Division rival interested in Joe Thornton

The mere thought of Joe Thornton wearing a Kings sweater may be enough to cause some Sharks fans to lose their lunch.

But it might be a possibility.

According to LA Kings Insider Jon Rosen, the Kings consider Thornton to be a “priority” should be hit the open market as a free agent. While the two sides are currently allowed to express mutual interest, NHL rules forbid them from discussing terms of any deal until Saturday at 9 a.m. PT.

Rosen points to a number of individuals in the Kings' organization that have ties to Thornton, including general manager Rob Blake, who played on the Sharks with Thornton from 2008-10. Mike O’Connell was Thornton’s general manager in Boston and currently serves as the Kings’ senior advisor to the general manager. Glen Murray, a former teammate and frequent linemate of Thornton’s with the Bruins for three-and-a-half seasons, is in Kings player development.

The Kings, under new management since replacing Dean Lombardi with Blake, and head coach Darryl Sutter with John Stevens, have put a priority on finding players this offseason that can get pucks to dangerous scoring areas. 

Adding one of the best passers in the history of the NHL would surely help in that regard. Thornton sits 13th in the NHL all-time with 1,007 assists.

Rosen writes: “Los Angeles has been a dominant possession team without being a high scoring team for the better part of the last six-plus seasons, and it was articulated earlier in the off-season that the team needed to do a better job of taking advantage of that possession discrepancy. In trying to find players with the ability to turn possession into actual production, the team has placed an emphasis on finding players capable of distributing the puck into high-danger in the attacking zone. There might not be another player in the NHL – let alone unrestricted free agents – who is as gifted of a passer of Thornton, which places the team’s needs in concert with the future Hall of Famer’s skill set.”

As reported here previously Thornton, who turns 38 on Sunday, is seeking a deal of three years. That might not be agreeable to the Sharks, who are likely to sign Martin Jones and Marc-Edouard Vlasic to long-term and expensive contract extensions that would kick in with the 2018-19 season.

Of course, Thornton could also be using the Kings as leverage to get a new deal in San Jose, where he would prefer to remain.

Tierney, Sorensen among players qualified by Sharks

Tierney, Sorensen among players qualified by Sharks

The Sharks have issued qualifying offers to restricted free agent forwards Chris Tierney, Marcus Sorensen and Barclay Goodrow, while cutting ties with three players in the system.

Tierney, 22, posted 11 goals and 12 assists for 23 points in 80 games last season, serving primarily as the fourth line center. He has 64 points (24g, 40a) in 202 career games over three NHL seasons, all with the Sharks.

Sorensen posted one goal and three assists in 19 games with the Sharks last season, his first in the NHL. The 25-year-old played in all six playoff games against Edmonton, scoring one goal and one assist.

Goodrow, 24, skated in three games for the Sharks last season with one assist. He has 16 points (4g, 12a) in 77 games over three seasons with the Sharks, although has played in just 17 NHL games since the start of the 2015-16 season.

Forward Nikita Jevpalovs, defenseman Patrick McNally and goalie Mantas Armalis - also known for his career as a male model - were left unqualified and are now unrestricted free agents.

Earlier in the offseason, the Sharks signed pending restricted free agents Joonas Donskoi and Melker Karlsson. Donskoi received a two-year deal at a salary cap hit of $1.9 million, while Karlsson was signed to a three-year deal at $2 million annually.