As most fans know, the New York Islanders upgraded their toughness by adding Cal Clutterbuck via trade over the summer. His rough and tough style of play is a perfect fit for this Islanders hockey team, and gives the fans something to really look forward to at the start of the season.
Unfortunately, Clutterbuck’s debut could be delayed with the season just two weeks away. That’s because of an injury he suffered Tuesday night in the Isles’ exhibition game in Calgary. According to a report from Arthur Staple of Newsday, Clutterbuck suffered a laceration from a skate blade during the game against the Calgary Flames, and will be out for an extended period of time. According to some reports, the injury likely came in the third period when Clutterbuck collided with Calgary’s Paul Byron.
There’s no real clear indication of how much time is an “extended” amount, but it doesn’t give the impression that Clutterbuck is going to be back by the start of the season in two weeks, but you never know. During the first preseason game, Clutterbuck was playing on a line with Peter Regin and Michael Grabner. That would have made for a very interesting line combo if they were to stay together on opening night. But now with Clutterbuck possibly out hurt, it could really put a kink in the Islanders’ plans. It kind of puts Clutterbuck back a bit, because with him missing time, it makes it hard for him to learn the Islanders’ system and style of play.
The only upside to an injury like this is that it could give some of the younger guys more of a chance to make the team.
I know this injury is something the team has to deal with, but I think in the long run, it won’t really hurt the Islanders or Clutterbuck. He had signed a four-year extension after being traded to the team, so it shows me that both the Islanders and Clutterbuck are committed to a long-term investment. This injury is a bit of a setback, but its not really a major one, as all signs are pointing to Clutterbuck being ready to go come opening night on Oct. 4.
This isn’t the first time we have seen a skate cutting incident. Quite frankly, I myself am a little surprised there aren’t more of them. With how sharp skate blades are, and with how often players collide and fall, it would seem like it would happen more often than it does. Clutterbuck is lucky that the injury wasn’t worse. When he does get healthy, and is able to return to the Islanders lineup, Clutterbuck is going to fit in quite nicely with the Islanders and the thumpers they already have in their lineup.