New York Islanders Clutterbuck Hot Take – Love It
The New York Islanders, today signed hard-hitting agitator Cal Clutterbuck to a five-year, $17.5 Million contract. This is a great a move by a hockey club which is finally beginning to show some of its potential on the ice.
There is much to like in locking down the Minnesota native to a long term contract. Cal Clutterbuck gained media attention last season by being a third of the “best 4th line in hockey”. With the departure of Matt Martin, Clutterbuck and Casey Cizikas have started to find some chemistry with new line-mate Anders Lee.
The deal equates to a $750,000 increase on Clutterbuck’s current deal. Clutterbuck is a team player, he is a well-respected in the dressing room and is a core member of the squad. All culminating to him being named alternative captain at the start of this season.
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The Future of the Islanders
The Islanders have a deep pool of exciting youngsters learning their trade in the juniors and AHL. If these players are to develop and become the future of the franchise, they need a core and leaders.
Clutterbuck, Cizikas, and Lee can now be seen as a legitimate 3rd line in hockey. Their collective salary of just over $10 million may seem high to some. If you consider, however, that Adam Pelech, Ryan Pullock, Anthony Beauvillier, Michael Dal Colle, Matthew Barzal, Joshua Ho-Sang, are all high hopes that the team have to be a major part in the team within 2 years. If this happens they will all be here with the lower entry level contracts.
The Salaries Drop Away
The Islanders are due to lose over $20 million off their salary in 2018. With John Tavares hopefully signed up long term, the Islanders will have a good core of Nick Leddy, Johnny Boychuk, Travis Hamonic, Andrew Ladd, Casey Cizikas and the aformentioned Clutterbuck all signed up to 2020. This is a phenomenal base to add the youngsters and entice the 2018 expiring players to sign cap friendly new deals.
I accept Clutterbuck is not everybody’s idea of the ideal hockey player. He does offer consistency. With 57 points, 11 game-winning goals, and a +2 goal differential since joining the Islanders. This is a good return for a supposed fourth line player who is also one of the first four penalty killers. The future is looking bright, the future is blue and orange.