This past Sunday’s 2013 NHL Draft saw the Minnesota Wild’s Cal Clutterbuck traded to the New York Islanders, along with a 3rd round pick, for the New York Islanders Nino Niederreiter.
This 5’11, comb-over, rocking right-winger is set to hit restricted free agency this summer, but the Isles are expected to sign him well before that deadline.
Clutterbuck led the league in hits from 2008 to 2011 after being overthrown by current Islander Matt Martin. With this addition, the Isles are now (on paper, anyway) the hardest and most consistent hitting team in the league, and expect them to lead for the next few seasons if all works well with this trade.
Clutterbuck made a respectable 1.5M last year, and is due for a bit of a raise soon, somewhere in the neighborhood of 1.75-2M.
But the question remains as to where to place Cal in this current roster? He’s most likely set to be a bottom six guy, and if the Isles are able to acquire someone in free agency, like Daniel Briere, Michael Ryder, or someone along those lines, Cal is most likely to be a fourth liner, providing a deadly punch with Matt Martin and Casey Cizikas. If the Isles remain quiet, Clutterbuck could very well become a third liner alongside Michael Grabner and Ryan Strome. Who knows?
Either way, the Isles will be a force to be reckoned with next season. And with Kyle Okposo, Cizikas, Martin, Clutterbuck, Brian Strait, Matt Carkner and Eric Boulton on the roster next year, no one will want to mess with them, or their superstars.
Cal Clutterbuck also has connections to Ryan Strome and John Tavares, with whom he has played while in Juniors.
Most Isles fans right now are up in arms, for the draft was defense-laden, but we have to trust Garth; if that’s what he got for Nino, that’s probably the best out there.
Be patient, and type in #Clutterbuck on twitter to see the Wild fans’ reactions, and that should give you some serenity. He’s a fan favorite, and he’ll become that again here.
Get ready for a hit parade come October!
–Kevin Kopf @kevinakopf