Flyers in the mix of teams chasing San Jose forward Ryane Clowe

RYANE CLOWE and the San Jose Sharks have the Flyers waiting with bated breath.

Clowe, the forward the Flyers have spent the better part of the past 2 days chasing, was scratched from Monday night’s lineup by the Sharks in order to “protect the asset” in the event of a trade. An injury would have derailed the process.

As of press time for this edition, Clowe had not been traded. Check for the latest Flyers information.

Multiple sources confirmed to the Daily News on Monday that the Flyers have been negotiating with Clowe’s agent, Boston-based Kent Hughes from MFive Sports. Clowe, 30, is a pending unrestricted free agent with a full no-trade clause and Sharks general manager Doug Wilson granted Hughes permission to gauge Clowe’s interest.

Two key members of the Sharks’ scouting staff – including director of pro scouting John Ferguson and Eastern-based scout Jason Rowe – were at the Wells Fargo Center on Sunday. Rowe was in town all week and at the Flyers’ four home games.

The Canucks, Rangers, Canadiens, Wild and Bruins also have been publicly linked to Clowe over the past week.

Unlike most of those playoff-bound clubs, the Flyers’ push to acquire Clowe is not a designed effort to beef up the roster in advance of Wednesday’s 3 p.m. trade deadline. His services down the stretch would be a bonus. With the Rangers’ win Monday, the Flyers are four points out of a playoff spot with 13 games to play.

Instead, the Flyers view Clowe as a part of their long-term plan. Clowe is finishing the final season of a 4-year, $14.5 million pact. With the free-agent market dwindling daily, Paul Holmgren’s only legitimate options to bolster the Flyers roster will be through the trade market, either before Wednesday or in the summer.

Clowe is a strong, top-line winger who has averaged 54 points over the last four seasons. He is in the midst of a down season, still scoreless with 11 assists in 29 games. He would be a candidate to play alongside Claude Giroux. He is not all that different – in both talent level and style of play – than Scott Hartnell.