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New York Islanders

Clutterbuck Inury, Trade Rumors and Disappointment



Cal Clutterbuck, New York Islanders

Islanders In Review assesses every player from the 2021-22 New York Islanders season. We’ll be looking at the highs and lows they experienced during the just-completed campaign and what the future holds for them on the island. Today, we feature right winger Cal Clutterbuck. 

Cal Clutterbuck

Position: RW

2021-22 totals (GP-G-A-P): 59-6-9-15

Contract Status:  Two years remaining with a $1.75 million AAV


For Cal Clutterbuck, this season did not go as planned. Despite being the best player on the Islanders’ famous fourth line, the momentum needed from that threesome was just not there often enough.

While head coach Barry Trotz shook up his lines, Cal Clutterbuck was moved around and got a chance to play on the top line with Mat Barzal after Anthony Beauvillier was demoted for lackluster play.

In the last two games before the 2022 NHL Trade Deadline, Clutterbuck was held out of the lineup. There were murmurs that the 34-year-old grinding forward had garnered interest from playoff hopefuls. The late scratches were deemed maintenance days, which led to speculation that a trade was pending.

We found out on trade deadline day, Mar. 21, that Cal Clutterbuck inked a two-year extension with the New York Islanders. And a few days later, the announcement on his shoulder injury came.

Despite missing 23 contests, Cal Clutterbuck averaged 3.88 hits per game while also increasing his shot per game output to 1.25. The 1.25 shots per game were his highest since the 2018-19 season.


“I was playing through it for a long time. I didn’t know what it was. Just you know, but it got to the point where I couldn’t, whether we were in or not, couldn’t do it anymore.”


“You know, I mean, been here a long time. Believe in the direction, believe the guys we got, and I really think we’re gonna get this done. So I wanted to make sure that I was here to see that through.”


Given what went wrong for Cal Clutterbuck and his season being shortened, there was not much to boast about.

On Dec. 16, in a 3-1 win over the Boston Bruins, Clutterbuck netted a pair of goals. His first was an in-tight snipe over the glove of Bruins netminder Linus Ullmark, while the second was an empty-netter to give the Islanders a two-goal cushion.

Later in the season, Cal Clutterbuck did get a chance to play with the offensively talented Mat Barzal. In his first game with Barzal and Anders Lee, Feb. 9, in a 6-3 win over the Vancouver Canucks, Clutterbuck notched two secondary assists.

Here’s his assist on Anders Lee’s tally:

Here’s his assist on Mat Barzal’s dagger:

On both goals, Clutterbuck made quick decisions that paid off.


Cal Clutterbuck will be entering his age 35 season in 2022-23, his 10th season as a member of the New York Islanders. Clutterbuck is one of those players that will never get the credit nor recognition he deserves for what he does on the ice and in the locker room, but it is clear as day that Islanders general Lou Lamoriello had little interest in seeing Clutterbuck leave the island.

That two-year extension proved that.

Although we do not know what Lane Lambert will be doing with the fourth line next season, it does appear that Cal Clutterbuck will be healthier than he has been in quite some time. That shoulder had been bothering him for a while, and the surgery should now allow him to feel even more comfortable on the ice, whether when he lays the body or lets the puck go.

Even while hurt, Clutterbuck was bringing energy on a nightly basis and, as mentioned, was the strongest of the fourth line for most of the season, which is why he was rewarded with top-line minutes for a few games.

If the Islanders want to rebound after this brutal campaign, Clutterbuck will have to bring his fierceness and adrenaline to help drive his teammates to success. His play and his line’s play is integral to the Islanders success, even if the fourth line is not as dominant as it once was.