Sharks forward Ryane Clowe became the latest locked-out NHL player to seek refuge in the ECHL after signing a contract Tuesday to play with the San Francisco Bulls.
Clowe began practicing with the team last week, but at the time said he was not sure he wanted to suit up for games. The latest development means he could be in the lineup as early as Friday night when the Bulls face Stockton at the Cow Palace.
A Bulls spokesman said Clowe wanted to use the next few days to determine if he was ready for game action. If he does not play, Clowe could serve as an assistant on the San Francisco bench.
"We're excited to have a player of Ryane's caliber join the team," Bulls general manager and coach Pat Curcio said in a statement. "We look forward to having him around the locker room, as he gets back into game shape. The rest of the players on the team will have a chance to learn from his work ethic."
Clowe is the second NHL player with the Bulls, a Sharks affiliate, joining Edmonton Oiler defenseman Theo Peckham.
Eight Sharks have been playing in Europe during the lockout, but Clowe wanted to stay in the San Jose area. He is the first current Shark to sign with the ECHL. Former teammate Devin Setoguchi inked a similar deal with the Ontario Reign and is expected to play when that team visits the Cow Palace on Saturday.
Taj Burrows squeezed past Matt Wilkinson to haul in the 2012 Coldwater Classic title at Steamer Lane in Santa Cruz. He outscored Wilkinson, a fellow Australian, 13.10 to 12.70.
The final pitted Burrow, who won a tour event earlier in the season and hadn't lost a Coldwater heat, against Wilkinson, who had never advanced past the quarterfinals in any World Tour event.
Eleven-time world champion Kelly Slater never found his rhythm at the Lane and fell out in the fifth round Tuesday. Tour leader Joel Parkinson was knocked out in the quarterfinals.
While this is the first contest of this caliber held in Santa Cruz since the 1990s, O'Neill's president said he would like to bring it back. "We'd love to if possible," said Pat O'Neill. "Santa Cruz showed its best."
Allen Crabbe scored 28 points and Justin Cobbs added 22 as the Cal men's basketball team held off San Francisco State 89-80 exhibition win at Haas Pavilion.
Senior guard Brandon Smith injured his left shoulder midway through the second half. Smith's status for Cal's opener Sunday against Cal State Bakersfield is unknown.
Staff writer Jeff Faraudo and the Santa Cruz Sentinel contributed to this report.