When you are 15 points out of a playoff spot, naturally the assumption is going to be that you're not a contender. That's the reality of the New York Islanders season *for now*. Sure, fans are still holding onto hope, myself included, that they go on a run and get back into the mix but right now they have three teams in front of them for a playoff spot.
As a result, rumblings may begin about selling off players which is exactly what we got today. Cal Clutterbuck was listed on The Fourth Period's Trade Watch List.
"The Islanders are still holding on to hope that they can make a playoff push this season, but if they cannot make up more ground by the deadline, Clutterbuck is someone the Isles will consider moving. He is in the final year of a five-year, $17.5 million contract and does not own any no-trade protection."
Theoretically, a player who is 34 years old and on an expiring deal would make sense to sell off for a team that is out of it. But I just don't know if I see the Islanders doing that.
The Islanders love their fourth line, at times to a fault. They have re-signed Matt Martin and Casey Cizikas the last two offseasons, they've given me no indication that it would be any different for Cal, even at his age.
Ironically, he's been the best of the three this year. He has 11 points (5 goals, 6 assists) in 40 games. He's on pace for a 23 point season with 10 goals and 338 hits. He's playing like the 27 or 28-year-old version of himself that we were used to in 2015 and 2016 at age 34.
Cal has been a good Islander, and he's been here for nine years already (which is surprising that it's been that long) but I don't think they flip him. Zdeno Chara or Zach Parise seem more likely to go at the deadline if the Islanders do decide to sell. I'd be shocked if Lou moved on from Clutterbuck, even if things went south in the standings.