The New York Islanders have to at the very least try to move the Cal Clutterbuck contract before it weighs them down even more than it already does.
The Cal Clutterbuck extension is one that isn’t going to be ranked very high on New York Islanders’ General Manager Garth Snow’s resume. In December of 2016, Snow signed Clutterbuck to a five-year $17.5 million contract.
It was a $750,000 per year raise from his previous cap number of $2.75 million. Since the signing of his latest contract, Cal Clutterbuck has been less than stellar.
In the first year of his new deal, Clutter produced 18 points (eight goals, 10 assists). It was his lowest production total since the 2014-2015 season. The difference between Cal then and Cal now is what he was paid for.
In 2014-15 Clutterbuck was making $2.75 million and he had 343 hits to his name, finishing second behind Matt Martin that year. That’s when the Martin – Cizikas – Clutterbuck line was at its best. Now, he is being paid $3.5 million and he only had 226 hits.
Garth attempted to keep two-thirds of it connected by extending Cizikas and Clutterbuck, but it hasn’t worked out for them. The Isles fourth line as we saw today is mostly ineffective. It’s not going to be easy but the Islanders have to try to move the contract, even if its Mikhail Grabovski style.
Here’s a proposed option the Isles can do:
This is essentially a cap dump. The Islanders eat $1 million a year for the remaining four years of the Clutterbuck contract and give up a third-round pick to sweeten the pot in exchange for a fifth-round pick.
If the Islanders bought him out, it would cost them $8.3 million over the next eight years. So not only are the Isles saving money, they’re also saving their future cap as well.
Dealing with a team like Montreal makes a lot of sense. Their highest paid forward is Jonathan Drouin at $5.5 million a year. They can afford Clutterbuck at $2.5 million over the next four years, plus he’s an upgrade over Nicholas Deslauriers on the fourth line anyway.
A fifth-round pick doesn’t really move the needle, but let’s be honest here Clutterbuck doesn’t have a ton of value. This is strictly a move to free yourself from Clutterbuck’s atrocious cap figure.
Paying Clutterbuck $1 million to play elsewhere and paying a Ross Johnston $1 million to fill the hole makes more sense than keeping Clutter around to take that kind of a detrimental hit. One fourth-liner making over $3 million is plenty.