With the NHL trade deadline coming up in less than a month on April 3rd, a few names have already started surfacing as potential trade candidates.
One name in particular, Ryane Clowe, is already drawing interest from several team on the east coast. Teams such as the Boston Bruins and the Montreal Canadiens have been seen at Sharks’ games trying to get a good look at Clowe and see if he can bring anything table for them.
These visits come at the perfect time because so far this season Clowe has been awful. And that is probably an understatement. So far this season he has zero goals and eight assists to go along with a -7 rating. Not only that, his 72 penalty minutes is sixth most in the league.
The penalty minutes would not be so bad if he was producing like the second-line forward he is supposed to be, but without it he is reduced to ‘goon’ status with the others who lead the league in penalty minutes. Oh, and don’t forget about his two-game suspension as well although he does get credit for defending a teammate on that one.
While his eight total points may not seem as some of the other guys on the team (Havlat is another top-six caliber forward and has even less total points, six, than Clowe) in reality his performance has been equally as bad.
Just from watching games he does not pass the ‘eye test’ and where you would once see him sticking his nose into those dirty areas on the ice you now just see him cruising in instead. He seems like he does not have it in him sometimes when he’s out there on the ice. And look, I’m the last person to knock someone for not having heart because for the most part it is very difficult to tell as a spectator whether that is true or not, but he just is not that consistent 20-goal scoring power forward we have grown accustomed to seeing these last few years. That, plus everytime I see him try to pass the puck more than a few feet to a teammate it turns into a disaster. The gist of it is, I think his time in San Jose is over and he needs to go. Perhaps a change of scenery would do him some good.
Why He Needs To Be Traded
One reason to back this up is the fact that San Jose is starting to get older. Sure, there are young stars on the team such as Pavelski, Couture and Burns, but the team as a whole is the seventh oldest team in the league as far as average age goes. While age it a bit different in the NHL (see Niklas Lidstrom) Ryane Clowe is now 30 years of age and trading him for someone with a brighter future would be a great move. It would serve as a great move as well because right now San Jose does not have the strongest prospects, especially as far as forwards are concerned and adding one to the minor league system would be a great way to build for the future.
Yet another reason? Team speed is dreadful. So far this season we have seen fast teams like the Colorado Avalanche or the Chicago Blackhawks skate circles around the slower Sharks. You would think, and hope, that the saavy veteran presence of the Sharks would be able to at least make up for this. Perhaps it would have worked 10 or 15 years ago with the old rules in place, but in today’s NHL speed kills and San Jose has absolutely none with the exception of a couple players. Again, they could trade Clowe for a good young forward with decent speed and let him develope.
More things to consider are just he mere residual effects from the trade. If he is gone, and perhaps the Sharks get draft picks out of him, that makes another roster spot for one of these young players who now has the ability to step up. T.J. Galiardi has top-six forward potential and I like what I have seen from so far this season from Tim Kennedy. Also, while he is not quite a young guy, do not forget about Scott Gomez who is starting to heat up as well.
Lastly, there is obviously some kind of market out there for Clowe right now and it would be wise to trade him before his value got any lower. I cannot see him being worth much to begin with, but that fact that teams are scouting him means they are willing to look past this season’s struggles and think they could be a better fit for him. I know for a fact, and I hope Doug Wilson does too, that he is no longer a good fit for the San Jose Sharks.