The Clutterbuck Chronicles, Vol. 3: Always Screen Your Phone Calls


MAR 29, 2012; St. Paul, MN, USA; Minnesota Wild forward

Cal Clutterbuck

(22) during warm-ups before the game between the Minnesota Wild and the Florida Panthers at Xcel Energy Center. Mandatory Credit: Marilyn Indahl-USA TODAY Sports

Cal Clutterbuck is an enigma: an on-ice fighter and an off-ice introvert. Upon joining the New York Islanders, he requested that the transcripts of his personal journal entries be made public, so fans can appreciate the physical and mental grind of the NHL season. has obtained exclusive rights to publish these transcripts, and will continue to do so on a weekly basis throughout the 2013-14 season. These are his own words. These are his inner musings. These are The Clutterbuck Chronicles.

(And if things aren’t clear about what’s going on in this space, the definition of the word ‘parody’ can be found here. Now, off we go…)


In case you missed it…

Vol. 1   |   Vol. 2

Wednesday, August 14

You never want to take the law into your own hands, except when you’re me and you’re on the ice. Then you can take the law into your own hands. But when you’re me, you can also do it when you’re off the ice, if the situation calls for it.

Like when someone spoiled last Sunday’s episode of Breaking Bad for John Tavares. Just straight up called him and told him what happened on the show that week, because apparently, spoilers are funny when you’re the one who’s ruining the show for a future NHL MVP. He wasn’t too upset over it, but whatever.

Johnny T doesn’t watch the episodes when they air at 9:00 p.m. on Sunday nights because he’s busy sleeping and dreaming about winning Stanley Cups like a true team leader.

Because that’s the first step to achieving greatness: visualization. (Plus, Johnny T wakes up at like 4:00 a.m. every day to get his pre-workout workout in. It’s the workout before the workout that makes him such a beast on the ice.)

Anyways, after Johnny T told me he got a phone call that ruined that week’s episode for him, I took the law into my own hands. When he wasn’t looking, I swiped his phone, took down the number of the last incoming call, and left a threatening voicemail for the person who effectively rendered Johnny T’s DVR useless.

That voicemail may or may not have involved the phrases, “Do you know who I am?” and, “Tread lightly around Johnny T.” I don’t know who was on the other end of the line since it was an automated answer, but I was sure they got the message loud and clear.

As it turns out, there’s a reason you’re generally not allowed to take the law into your own hands off the ice.

That threatening voicemail I left? Yeah, it ended up being for Johnny T’s parents. Turns out that they like to recap each week’s episode of the show over the phone with their son, and didn’t realize Johnny T hadn’t watched it yet.

So now I have a temporary restraining order from them.

Thursday, August 15

Looked at my phone this morning and saw 19 missed calls, 11 voicemails and 31 text messages. All of them from Matt Martin.

A sampling of the voicemails: 

MM: “Bro Namath, it’s Matty Marts. Just checking in, seeing how things are going. I know we laxercised for like six hours yesterday, but I figured it’d be good to catch up, you know? Maybe talk about some strategy for how we’re gonna handle the first fight of the season. Like, what if Johnny T takes a dirty hit from some goon? Do you and me play rock-paper-scissors on the bench during the TV timeout to see who gets to fight that guy? I just don’t want there to be any confusion about who gets to drop that dude like a bad habit. Let me know, man. Peace.”

MM: “Clutzy, me again. I was thinking maybe we just flip a coin to decide who gets to fight him. What do you think? I mean, we could each keep a coin on the bench or whatever. Think Cappy could hold one in his pocket for us? He’s pretty chill. I feel like he’d hold one in his pocket for us. Thoughts?”

MM: “Yo, Teddy Broosevelt, it’s Matty Marts. What size lacrosse pinnie do you wear? I’m probs gonna custom-order like 50 pinnies so we can each have a bunch to wear to the gym or to a red carpet event or to wherever. Hit me back. Lates.”

MM: “Matty Marts calling for Jon Bon Brovi….come in, Jon Bon Brovi…over. Hahaha get it? It’s like I’m calling from a walkie talkie. (I’m on my phone, though.) Anyways, I’m pretty sure Cappy would hold a coin in his pocket for us, you know, for the fight thing. At least, I think he’d do it. I mean, he didn’t say no, so that’s a good sign, right?”

MM: “Yo, Marco Brolo…did you change your number? If you did, just have them transfer this voicemail over to your new phone. Got some important stuff to talk about: like whether you think the NHL will ever allow sleeveless jerseys. Hit me up, Clutzy.”

Saturday, August 17

Went up to Toronto this weekend to check in on my boy Johnny T and see how his workout sessions with Kyle Okposo were going. We all want Okie to get tougher, to be more assertive, and to mix it up out there on the ice a little bit this season.

On a related note: this is how Okie used to fight.

And this is how Okie fought at the end of last season.

He made that kind of progress without my help. Just wait until I can give him some pointers this year.

Anyways, when I got to The Athlete Training Center, I saw Okie standing in the middle of the parking lot, in his workout clothes, screaming, “DO YOU EVEN LIFT, BRO?” at the small children asking for his autograph.

So, I think he’s headed in the right direction. Apparently now we just have to work on getting him to control his emotions off the ice.

Sunday, August 18

Breaking Bad tonight. I’ll, uh…I’ll be screening Johnny T’s incoming calls before I leave any threatening voicemails this week.

Because live and learn.

Monday, August 19

46 days until we take the ice at Prudential Center against the New Jersey Devils, which means I have 46 days to convince the NHL to adopt a change to the scoring system before we play our first regular-season game.

I’ve decided that I want at least partial credit on all of Johnny T’s goals this season, even if I’m not on the ice for them. Just a little something in the box score that reads, “Tavares, assisted by Moulson (feat. Clutterbuck).” Primary and secondary assists are nice, but I’m talking about a new statistic that allows grinders like me to really shine.

If Gary Bettman could make this happen before the season starts, it might make people forget about how much they dislike him. (On second thought, nah. It’d still be cool to have though.)

Think about it: a lot of what I do during a game doesn’t show up on the stat sheet, but that doesn’t mean I don’t contribute. This whole “featuring” stat would account for the times when I:

  • Lay a monster hit
  • Get into—and win—a fight
  • Intimidate a referee with my luxurious mustache
  • Confuse an opposing goalie with my onomatopoeic last name
  • Am the best-looking player on either team’s bench

All I’m saying is, I bring a lot to the table and not all of it shows up on ESPN’s bottom line stock-ticker thingy—come to think of it, most NHL stuff doesn’t show up there, but that’s not the point.

Point is, it’s the little things that help teams win games. And I’m here to take care of the little things so Johnny T can focus on scoring goals. Even if those little things aren’t new-school sabermetric-style stats.


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