The 2018-2019 season went exactly as you would expect for Cal Clutterbuck. Here’s how the New York Islanders fourth liner grades out.
Cal Clutterbuck is a fine fourth line player. At one point, I’d even go as far as to say he was a very good fourth liner with the New York Islanders. It’s hard to justify is $3.5 million cap hit which is exactly what we are forced to do now.
Listen, I love the Martin – Cizikas – Clutterbuck line as much as the next guy but these players aren’t getting any younger. Clutterbuck is 31-years-old for example. A guy like Clutter is at his best when he’s hitting people. He did that a lot less this year, partially due to his age.
Leaving out the lockout-shortened 2012-2013 season and 2007-2008 when he played two games, this was the lowest number of hits that he’s had in his career (209). It’s not like his ice time went down either, it actually went up over a minute to 13:58 per game on average.
Production-wise, this is exactly what you’d expect out of Cal Clutterbuck. He gave the Islanders 23 points (8 goals, 15 assists) in 73 games. He wasn’t bad, he wasn’t great, he was a fourth line level forward with a high cap hit.
To be fair, Clutter was very good on the penalty kill. The Islanders were much improved in that regard and Cal was a part of that unit so he deserves some praise for his role on the PK. Unfortunately, he gets some heat because he was a part of the Islanders abysmal power play.
I know, Cal Clutterbuck has no business being on the power play but we still have to talk about his production or lack thereof. He had three power-play points on the year, all goals. He was virtually ineffective on the power play.
Again, he isn’t someone who is supposed to be put in that position but he also continually failed to be productive in that role so unfortunately this all gets factored into his end of season grade.
Clutterbuck spent most of the last month of the season playing through an injury that eventually kept him out of Game 4 of the Hurricanes series. It came out that he needed surgery on his back for a stress fracture, rotated vertebrae, two slipped discs and a pinched nerve.
What do you give someone who was okay, and exactly what you expected? A C seems fair to me, no? It’s the same grade the Leo Komarov got and the two had rather similar seasons.
The Islanders have three more years of Cal Clutterbuck at $3.5 million. There’s a chance he starts next year on IR due to his injury but in all likelihood, the Islanders will be stuck with this contract until the end.