SAN JOSE, Calif. - San Jose Sharks forward Ryane Clowe was arrested early Monday morning on suspicion of drunken driving.
Clowe, who has been out of the Sharks' lineup for two months after undergoing knee surgery, was stopped by police in suburban Los Gatos for a minor traffic violation. Authorities said the 25-year-old player failed a field sobriety test and was booked into the Santa Clara County jail.
"I am embarrassed by what happened, but take full responsibility for this regrettable mistake," Clowe said. "For situations like I faced last evening, our team has a very clear alternative transportation policy in place. I failed to follow it, and for that I am deeply sorry."
Clowe, who was released later Monday, is the second Sharks player in two seasons to be arrested on suspicion of drunken driving despite a specific team policy to prevent it. The organization guarantees reimbursement for a taxi or car service to any Sharks player or staff member who needs transportation.
"While we are extremely disappointed by his error in judgment, Ryane has stepped up and acknowledged that he made a serious mistake and is preparing to take responsibility for his actions," Sharks general manager Doug Wilson said.
Former Sharks forward Mark Bell was arrested over the Labour Day weekend last year after he drove his rented car into a pickup truck at a stop sign in Milpitas, a town in the San Jose foothills. The driver of the pickup required stitches to close a gash in his head.
Bell, who was traded to the Toronto Maple Leafs last summer, pleaded no contest to drunken-driving charges last September and was sentenced to six months in jail. He will begin serving his time after the NHL season ends.
Clowe, who's in his second full season with the Sharks, had three goals and three assists in 11 games this season before tearing several ligaments in his knee during a game against Columbus on Oct. 27. He earned a regular job in San Jose last season with career highs of 16 goals, 18 assists and 78 penalty minutes in just 58 games.
The Fermeuse, N.L., native is a fan favourite for his hard-nosed style, and his presence has been missed on San Jose's power play. He had begun travelling with the Sharks again in recent weeks, but the team had no timetable for his return.