Sharks left wing Ryane Clowe officially signed a contract with the ECHL’s San Francisco Bulls on Tuesday, becoming the second NHL player to ink a deal with the club this week.
Both Clowe and Edmonton Oilers defenseman Theo Peckham (who signed Monday) are traveling with the club to Southern California for tonight’s showdown with the Ontario Reign. But Clowe will not see ice time until Friday at the earliest when the Bulls return to the Cow Place to take on the Stockton Thunder.
“I’d like to see him Friday, but it will be up to him,” coach Pat Curcio said. “Ryane will take it day-by-day.”
Clowe started practicing with the squad last week, but he couldn’t officially join the team until insurance issues were resolved this week. The Sharks alternate captain said he has no timetable for lacing up the skates in a game.
“I really haven’t set any goals for when to play or anything,” Clowe said. “We’ll see.”
But Curcio said Clowe’s leadership has already rubbed off on his young team.
“Just his knowledge, being able to pick his brain,” Curcio said. “You know why he’s a leader in the NHL, you know why he wears a letter.”
The signing comes at an opportune time for the Bulls, who’ve dropped five straight regulation games and currently find themselves at the bottom of the ECHL’s Pacific Division standings.
Curcio said Clowe plays the gritty style of hockey that he’s trying instill in his team.
“He’s a guy who blocks shots, hits, sticks up for his teammates, fights and scores goals — just plays the right way,” he said.
In 395 NHL games with the Sharks, the 30-year-old Clowe has collected 260 points (101 goals, 159 assists) and 488 penalty minutes.
Peckham to play: The Bulls’ other NHL signee, Peckham, will see action tonight against the Reign. The 24-year-old defenseman has only practiced twice with the Bulls (2-6-0-2), but he trained hard over the summer and skated with his junior team, the Owen Sound Attack, a few times this fall.
“I put a lot of work in this summer, so I feel pretty good,” Peckham said.
Peckham’s signing should solidify a Bulls blue line that surrendered 73 shots on goal in two losses against the Colorado Eagles last weekend. Curcio said the defenseman will log 25 to 30 minutes a night.
“We really need the help back there,” He said.
The Bulls were able to nab Peckham because Curcio is close friends with his uncle, former-Oiler Bill McDougall.
“I’ve known Theo since he was 10-year-old,” Curcio said.
Peckham was an even zero in the plus-minus department in 54 games for the last place Oilers during the 2011-12 season.