Bulls sign Sharks veteran Ryane Clowe

Bay Area hockey faithful might be feeling a little low as the likelihood of an NHL season fades further and further into uncertainty.

But, in addition to having a new team in San Francisco to get their hockey fix, fans can take comfort in knowing there will be a familiar face on the ice.

The San Francisco Bulls announced Tuesday the signing of nine-year veteran left wing Ryane Clowe. Clowe, who has played six full seasons with the San Jose Sharks, is set to start practicing with the team on Thursday.

Bulls President and Head Coach Pat Curcio said Tuesday that the team is “excited to have a player of Ryane’s caliber join the team,” and that he expects that “the rest of the players on the team will have a chance to learn from his work ethic.”

Serving as an alternate captain in the last two seasons in San Jose, Clowe played a big role in getting the Sharks to the playoffs, tallying up 18 goals and 22 assists in 68 playoff games with the team. He has a total of 260 points — 101 goals, 159 — in his NHL career, and totaled at least 50 points in each of the last four regular seasons.

On top of being an outstanding athlete, Clowe is also a stand-up guy. His charity event, Clowe, Purcell & Friends Golf Classic  — put on with NHL forward Teddy Purcell — has raised upwards of $400,000 over the past for summers.

The goal? To help give underprivileged youth in their native St. John’s, Newfoundland, the opportunity to participate in sports and other extracurricular activities.

The Bulls return home this weekend after a month-long road trip, taking on the Stockton Thunder on Friday and the Ontario Reign on Saturday. The puck drops both nights at 7:15 p.m. with tickets available online from the Bulls.