The Islanders have announced that they have come to terms with RFA Cal Clutterbuck on a four-year deal.
Arthur Staple reports that the deal is worth $11 million over the four seasons. His cap hit will be $2.75 million.
Clutterbuck was acquired from Minnesota for Nino Niederreiter at the NHL draft.
From the Islanders release: “Clutterbuck, 25, has 110 points (62 goals, 48 assists) in 346 career National Hockey League games, all with the Minnesota Wild. A native of Welland, ON, Clutterbuck scored 10 points (four goals, six assists) in 42 games last season, while leading the team with 155 hits (tied for ninth in NHL). He also made his Stanley Cup Playoffs debut, scoring two points (one goal, one assist) in five games during Minnesota’s Western Conference Quarterfinal series against the Chicago Blackhawks.
A 5’11, 213-pound right wing, Clutterbuck led the NHL in hits for three consecutive seasons from 2008-2011, setting a then-NHL record with 356 hits during the 2008-09 campaign. “
Kevin Schultz, Islanders Point Blank:The Islanders paid a bit more than you might expect for Clutterbuck; the contract has an average annual value of $2.75 million. Clearly they like the player and think that his hard-nosed skill set would be an asset for the team. He’s only 25, hits like crazy, kills penalties, and can score a little. That’s a rare skillset to find in a player and will be good to have around, even if you disagree with the Niederreiter trade.
For a comparable, Minnesota actually signed 35-year old Matt Cooke seemingly to replace Clutterbuck for $2.5 million per on a three-year deal. Cooke scores more but is much older and also has that dose of crazy that can result in suspensions. Clutterbuck’s contract also does cover his first two UFA years, which is the kind of thing that usually requires extra cash to purchase.
If I had to guess, Clutterbuck will likely be playing on the third line, which put in that context is a extra money for a bottom-six forward. He’ll be tied for the fifth highest paid Islander forward with Frans Nielsen, which could is overpaying but also consider the Islanders low-cost salary structure that has Hart candidate John Tavares making only $5.5 million next year, double Clutterbuck. The Islanders haven’t wanted to mess with their salary structure in the past but now with Clutterbuck, they altered it a bit.