When the Wild visits San Jose on Wednesday night, there’s a good possibility Ryane Clowe won’t be in the Sharks’ lineup. The question is whether he’ll be in the Wild’s.
Clowe, 30, is being shopped by the Sharks as Wednesday’s 2 p.m. trade deadline approaches and one of the many teams showing interest in the power forward is the Wild.
Whether or not General Manager Chuck Fletcher pulls the trigger depends largely on San Jose’s asking price, which is said to be steep. The Sharks want to get younger and faster, and Clowe is in the last year of his contract. He was scratched Tuesday night for the Sharks’ game against Vancouver.
With the permission of the Sharks, it’s believed Fletcher has talked to Clowe’s agent, Kent Hughes, to see what it would take to sign Clowe to an extension. He has a no-trade clause.
“I’m aware of what’s going on and anything happening with me has to go through me, so we’ll see,” Clowe told the San Jose Mercury News. “I don’t want to give a percentage or anything. Would I be surprised? Probably not. I wouldn’t be shocked.”
Clowe, who has scored 101 goals and 271 points in 423 games, is a 6-2, 225-pounder built for playoff hockey. He would bring muscle and intensity, a big body to put in front of the net on the power play, and is known as a great locker room presence.
This season he has been banged up, missing the March 23 game in Minnesota because of a shoulder injury. Not the fleetest of foot already, Clowe was limping in the press box.
He has no goals and 11 assists in 28 games this season.
“I figure I probably play my best hockey down the stretch and into the playoffs, so that’s probably what teams are looking for,” Clowe told the Mercury News. “You look at it the other way, ‘Wow, this guy has no goals this year. It’s kind of funny teams want him.’ But overall, I think you look at the body of work over the last four or five years and I like to think I’ve been pretty consistent.”
Clowe is friends with Wild forwards and former Sharks Dany Heatley, Devin Setoguchi and Torrey Mitchell. Sharks GM Doug Wilson has been a popular trading partner with Fletcher. The two executed three separate trades two summers ago.
It’s unclear where Clowe would fit on the Wild or what the Wild would have to give up. Fletcher has indicated that blue-chip prospects are untouchable.
Fletcher declined to comment about Clowe but said he’s always looking to upgrade if it makes sense.
“Chemistry is a funny thing, so you’ve got to be mindful of the fact that the new player you’re bringing in doesn’t have a lot of time to get going,” Fletcher said. “We’re not going to force anything. We certainly like this team. We haven’t lost a lot of games lately, and to me, this team has earned the right to continue going forward.”
Learning on the job
Defenseman Brett Clark played his second consecutive game for the Wild on Monday against St. Louis, and Mitchell returned after missing one game because of flu-like symptoms.
Justin Falk was scratched, as was Nate Prosser, a defenseman who played forward Saturday for Mitchell.
“It’s not an easy thing before the game to learn how to play forward,” coach Mike Yeo said, laughing, “but he gave us some quality shifts.”
Former St. Cloud State forward Matt Cullen is excited about his alma mater advancing to its first Frozen Four.
“[Huskies coach] Bob Motzko is doing a great job, and they have a couple kids from small-town Minnesota leading the way, so it’s fun,” said Cullen, who played high school hockey for his father, Terry, at Moorhead.