Through all the changes the NY Islanders have endured the last decade, the one constant has been the fourth line of Matt Martin, Casey Cizikas, and Cal Clutterbuck. Joining forces in 2013 when Clutterbuck was acquired for Nino Niederreiter, the three have played alongside each other aside from the two seasons Martin played in Toronto before being reacquired by Lou Lamoriello. The line has gone through many nicknames over the years, once deemed the best fourth line ever in hockey by Don Cherry, to E=MC^2, given by Butch Goring, to now being known as the Identity Line.
The three have been inseparable both on and off the ice, but Martin and Clutterbuck are in the final years of their contract, with Clutterbuck to be 36 and Martin 35 at their conclusions. Cizikas, a few years younger at 32, still has four years remaining on his deal and looks to be part of the team's future. So with two-thirds of the line set to depart, who will be taking over alongside Cizikas on the fourth line?
While he may be starting the season on the third line this season, the Islanders look to have found a diamond in the rough in Hudson Fasching. Fasching, who was called up from Bridgeport in December, never looked back once given an opportunity, playing himself into a new two-year, one-way deal with the Isles. He's been used up and down the linuep, but playing on Cizikas' wing seems to be where he's most comfortable. He likely sees plenty of time on the fourth line this year, as he'll be the first option if there are any injuries or if Lane Lambert is looking to throw his lines in a blender.
The third potential new member has yet to play a professional game in North America in his career. Signing his entry-level contract on June 7, Eetu Liukas will debut with the Bridgeport Islanders this October and will be present at Islanders training camp in September. Liukas is just 20 years old, standing 6'2" and 200 lbs. He's seen action at the professional level the last four seasons with TPS and HPK of Liiga in Finland and looks to fit the mold of a gritty fourth liner.
Liukas is no stranger to physicality, as he's willing to throw his weight into anything that moves. Aside from the physical aspect, he has a nose for goal. He scored 14 goals in Liiga last season with his quick release an punishing one-timer. He likely won't see NHL action this season unless the injury bug takes a big chunk out of the Isles, but he could be an option for 2024-25 due to his style of play and league-minimum contract.
The current Identity Line has made lasting memories in their time together, as the three look to make a few more with their time together soon coming to an end.