Acquiring the rights to restricted free agent Cal Clutterbuck was one thing, but the New York Islanders still had to sign him before the former Minnesota Wild forward could officially become a member of the team. That was seen as something of a formality, as a deal would likely get done pretty easily.
On Tuesday, the two sides agreed to a deal, as Clutterbuck and the Isles agreed to terms on a new four-year deal for the 25-year-old forward. The contract will carry a cap hit of $2.75 million. It’s a pretty significant raise from the $1.4 million cap hit he had seen for the past three years.
This deal should probably be looked at as an overpayment, given what Clutterbuck does, or does not, bring to the table. He’s a bruiser, and his primary role with the Isles will to be that energy guy that they really lack right now. He had just 10 points in 42 games with the Wild last year.
However, this is a guy who has had success on offense before. He’s scored at least 15 goals in two of the last three years, including a 19-goal effort in the 2010-11 season. If he can rediscover some of that offensive game, this becomes an extremely good deal for the Islanders.
What Clutterbuck brings to the ice, even without the offense, is certainly worth something. He brings that physical style, but is also capable of keeping up with skilled lines if put in that situation. He also can log some heavy minutes on the penalty kill. There’s plenty of value in a guy like that.
And that’s without the offense. If he can put in 15-20 goals, in addition to the physical play and the penalty killing, this could be something of a bargain for New York. As of right now, though, the price in this deal is absolutely right. Clutterbuck should be a good fit with the Islanders, and is the type of guy that they need in the mix.