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Clowe might see diminished role with Sharks upon return

Feb 27, 2013, 10:45 PM EDT

San Jose Sharks v Phoenix Coyotes Getty Images

During the weekend, Ryane Clowe faced a grim situation: his already-rough 2013 season might be greatly impacted by a 10-game suspension. He must be relieved that he only received a two-game punishment, but it sounds like San Jose Sharks fans will still see a little less of him.

That’s because he might not return to the lineup as a top-six forward.

Head coach Todd McLellan explained his reasoning to the Mercury News.

“I don’t think Ryane Clowe should lose his top six role because of a suspension when he got involved to defend a teammate,” McLellan said. “But with that being said, we liked how the lines have been playing up front, creating more scoring opportunities. So we have to do what’s right for the team.”

Beyond simple things like “actually score goals,” the Sharks head coach explained what Clowe, 30, needs to do to regain his place.

“When Clowe comes back, we’ve really stressed his foot speed and keeping his feet moving and using his overall size to drive the net rather than always playing around the boards,” McLellan said. “If he’s going to play well, he’s going to work on that part of his game. But he’s a huge part of our organization.”

With his contract set to expire, he’ll need to finish 2013 in a strong way to avoid being a part of a different organization.

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