4 Islanders players who shouldn’t return next season

Since the New York Islanders have underperformed this season, it’s time to jettison a few players and turn the page on what has been a trying year.

Winnipeg Jets v New York Islanders
Winnipeg Jets v New York Islanders / Bruce Bennett/GettyImages
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Cal Clutterbuck has had quite a career, but it’s time to move on

It’s time for the Islanders to get younger, and that means letting their oldest players walk as unrestricted free agents. They are currently ranked second in the league with an average age of 29.04, with only the Edmonton Oilers clocking in higher, and Cal Clutterbuck factors in as one of the oldest players on the Isles who is also in the final season of his contract. 

Although Clutterbuck is 36, he can still play an effective game, but since the Islanders must restructure, get younger, and produce more in the offensive zone, it makes sense to let him go elsewhere. That said, they would need to find an adequate replacement for Clutterbuck, who is still one of the league’s best and most physical lower-liners with 241 hits in 71 contests. 

New York wouldn’t need anything too expensive or anyone who plays a different game to replace Clutterbuck. And they could even save cap space by rolling with a cheaper option than the longtime winger’s $1.75 million cap hit.

They would, however, lose a respected voice in the locker room that Clutterbuck has transformed into over the last decade. But throughout the last three seasons, it’s become clear that this team needs to cut ties with some of its longtime players if they want to break through this perpetual state of mediocrity.