Last season, on top of the countless players who battled COVID-19, the New York Islanders saw several players go down with injuries. In what was a troublesome first half of the 2021-22 campaign, with players like Kyle Palmieri, Brock Nelson, and Ryan Pulock falling victim to injuries, the second half of the season saw two more important pieces hit th shelf, in Scott Mayfield and Cal Clutterbuck.
Scott Mayfield, after blocking an Erik Brannstrom shot against the Ottawa Senators on Mar. 22, suffered a lower-body injury that held him out for the remainder of the season, having missed a total of 21 games.
There was the belief that the injury was not “season-ending,” but given the Islanders’ position in the standings, outside the playoff picture by a good margin, rushing Mayfield back did not make much sense.
“Good, 100 percent,” Mayfield shared when asked how he was feeling following that late-season injury. “I was close [to returning] the end of the year there, but once I started training and skating, it was 100 percent.”
As for what he worked on this offseason, Mayfield shared that he followed the same game plan he usually follows in the summer.
“I’m big into strength training. My biggest thing is just being strong out there,” Mayfield shared. “We did a lot of skating with skating coaches and skills coaches, on-ice stuff. I was able to skate a little bit more this summer with more time off.”
“The biggest thing for me is my work ethic. I just want to show up and work hard every day. Just play my game and focus on what I can do, and I think that’s what I did all summer and that’s what I want to do in camp.”
Scott Mayfield is entering the final deal of a five-year deal worth $7.25 million ($1.45 AAV) and is coming off a three-goal, 15-assist season.
For Cal Clutterbuck, shoulder surgery ended his 2021-22 season just a few days after the 2022 NHL Trade deadline.
In the last two games before deadline day, 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 indeed coming.
But then, in a ‘shocking’ turn of events, the New York Islanders announced that Cal Clutterbuck had signed a two-year extension worth with $3.5 million ($1.125 AAV), but that his 2021-22 season was over due to a shoulder injury.
Clutterbuck spoke to the media on locker cleanout day back in April, explaining for why he opted for the shoulder surgery.
“I was playing through it for a long time. I didn’t know what it was. But it got to the point where I couldn’t, whether we were in or not, couldn’t do it anymore.”
After rehabbing during the summer, Cal Clutterbuck feels good coming into training camp.
“Good, I feel good,” Clutterbuck said. “Yeah, it was typically a four or five, six month rehab. So I was doing a lot of rehab early and then, you know, you’re obviously able to do some cardio and stuff after six day weeks. Legs and stuff I got in here, but yeah, there’s a lot more rehab in my workouts but from a conditioning perspective, I could do all the same stuff I’m used to doing. I was dealing with some pain for a while and that pain, it’s not pain, it’s gone. So it’s a positive.”
As for the shoulder injury, it was lingering for some time, but not something that was affecting his play for years.
“You know, the shoulder thing, [it] wasn’t like it wasn’t lingering for years. It was apparent for a couple of months and it was just progressing,” Clutterbuck shared. “I’ve had, everyone’s had bouts where like, they’re feeling a little bit of pain here and there. It is what it is, but at this point, it got to the point where I felt like getting it looked at. We made a decision to fix it.”
Despite missing 23 contests, Cal Clutterbuck averaged 3.88 hits per game while also increasing his shot-per-game output to 1.25. His 1.25 shots per game were his highest since the 2018-19 season.