Clowe out Tuesday, but concussion ruled out

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Clowe out Tuesday, but concussion ruled out

SAN JOSE Ryane Clowe will not play on Tuesday night when the Sharks host the Columbus Blue Jackets, but it became clear after the teams morning skate that he is out only due to a facial fracture and not a head injury.

Clowe went face first into the glass on Jan. 10 in Minnesota, played in the next three games, and then sat out the teams five games leading up to the All-Star break.

When I came off the ice when it happened in Minnesota, thats what they asked me afterward when they knew there was something wrong, Clowe said. My nose was bleeding, but I didnt feel anything like that. I know I struck my face off the boards, but as far as my head and all that, that felt good. Right away, I had no issues with that. We flew after the game and that was fine.

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Clowe had not had any sort of baseline concussion test, and flew home to Newfoundland over the break.

He would like to play on Thursday night against Dallas.

I feel good, he said. I just want another day of skating tomorrow, and I think I should be good to go.

He would also like to make sure he can return without wearing a cage, as he did in the three subsequent games after the hit before he removed it midway through the Sharks game in Chicago on Jan. 15.

In other words, he doesnt want to have any anxiety caused by possibly re-injuring himself.

I guess the biggest worry is just getting hit there again, he said. I dont want to wear a cage obviously when I come back. I want to make sure if I do get hit there or if something happens like a fight and I get punched there, its alright, and Im not out another few weeks.

Another factor in the decision to wait at least one more game is that Clowe had not skated in two weeks before Mondays practice, and needs to get his game legs back.

Todd McLellan said: We want to make sure when he does go in, hes ready to play and play the way he can.

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.

Thornton, Marleau now permitted to speak with other teams

Thornton, Marleau now permitted to speak with other teams

Their futures with the Sharks more uncertain than ever, pending unrestricted free agents Joe Thornton and Patrick Marleau are now free to take calls from other teams to gauge their potential interest.

Nothing can be signed with a new team before July 1, and there is a ban on discussing terms of any potential deal. Teams have already reached out to Marleau, per TSN’s Pierre LeBrun, while Thornton is also reportedly receiving interest around the league.

While they could still return to the Sharks, it’s new territory for both, as neither Thornton nor Marleau has ever tested the unrestricted free agent waters. Most recently, they agreed to three-year contract extensions with the Sharks on the same day – Jan. 24, 2014 – in what was the final year of their current deals.

Whether they return to the Sharks could depend on the length of the deal. If other teams are willing to offer multiple-year deals to Thornton and Marleau, it makes their return to the Sharks less likely – particularly in Marleau’s case. Earlier in the offseason, NBC Sports California confirmed that Thornton was seeking a three-year deal, while Marleau preferred a deal of at least three years.

General manager Doug Wilson’s top priority this offseason is to re-sign goalie Martin Jones and defenseman Marc-Edouard Vlasic to long term extensions. Those contracts would likely cost the team a combined $12-14 million, and would begin in the 2018-19 season.

There is an added risk to any team that signs a player over the age of 35, as it would be on the hook for the entire salary cap hit regardless of whether that player is active (unless that player is on long-term injured reserve). 

Thornton turns 38 on Sunday, while Marleau turns 38 on Sep. 15.