There are a lot of questions surrounding the New York Islanders as they head into next season. The biggest one will be whether or not they are capable of making the playoffs for the second year in a row.
The NHL Facebook page recently asked this same question, and many fans were either skeptical, positive or found the idea downright absurd (and these weren't just Rangers fans).
Despite an intense, hard fought playoff series with a very inexperienced roster against the Pittsburgh Penguins, a team that has been one of the most dominant forces of the league for the past few years, many critics are still not convinced that the New York Islanders are a guaranteed playoff team.
At this year's 2013 NHL Entry Draft, the New York Islanders traded Nino Niederreiter, one of their top prospects, to the Minnesota Wild in exchange for a draft pick and Cal Clutterbuck; a 5'11" and 213 pound forward that is known for delivering devastating body checks and sticking up for his teammates (Photo credit: SWP2011/Flickr).
He has also been able to contribute offensively over the years, scoring 15 goals in 2012 and 19 goals in 2011.
Clutterbuck called me this afternoon to discuss the trade from Minnesota, his previous ties to the Islanders, what fans can expect out of him on a nightly basis and more.
There will be plenty of tough decisions to be made for New York Islanders head coach Jack Capuano when training camp starts in September, especially when it comes to deciding which young forward will have a chance to be on the opening night roster.
Both Ryan Strome and Brock Nelson have earned the deserved opportunity to get a long look before being sent back down to the Bridgeport Sound Tigers; the only question is which one will stay.
The Islanders were very busy at the start of an off-season that forecasted a flurry of movement from GM Garth Snow. On the agenda was signing a number-one goaltender and top-six forward, both of which took place on July 5th. A few other moves were made to help keep the core intact for many years to come, as well as removing another bad apple from the organization (Photo Credit: Official New York Islanders/Flickr).
After signing forward Peter Regin to what is seemingly a depth signing, the Isles quickly looked to fill the void left in the crease.
The Isles were reportedly interested in goaltender Ray Emery, who ended up signing a contract with the Philadelphia Flyers. This forced Snow to return to his original choice for the crease and sign Evgeni Nabokov to another one-year deal at $3.25 million.
The Islanders have built the core of their young team through the NHL Entry Draft and this year they looked to continue that trend. GM Garth Snow added one NHL ready player on draft day this year, Cal Clutterbuck. Clutterbuck was not drafted though, he was acquired through a trade with the Minnesota Wild. (Photo Credit: sportsnet.ca)
The Minnesota Wild took to the ice on fire against the Chicago Blackhawks Wednesday night, scoring within 90 seconds of the puck drop. The relentless physical demand brought out the best of both teams, ending in a shootout and a Wild victory 3-2.
Cal Clutterbuck burst onto the scene and arrived in ill-humor, determined to singlehandedly bring back the raucous NHL of the 1970’s. In his rookie year of 2008-09, the mustachioed winger shattered the record for hits in a season with 356.
Just last season he slugged a linesman in the face, albeit accidently.
The NHL’s hit king, though, isn’t held in the same esteem as say baseball’s version might be. Clutterbuck to opponents is a pest, an agitator, a head hunter; a young, reckless punk who will likely injure himself if not an opponent before too long.
Minnesota Wild fans love him.
His relentless play is obvious to even the most...
The Minnesota Wild haven't qualified for the playoffs since the 2007-08 season; but this year, they already have 41 points and are on pace for 115 points. Who would have foreseen the Minnesota Wild sitting atop the league nearly a third of the way into the season? Who is this new Wild team?
Minnesota began its team overhaul early in the summer, firing coach Todd Richards, and promoting Mike Yeo to head coach from their AHL affiliate, the Houston Aeros. When you look at Yeo's record, it is no surprise that the Wild tagged him as new coach.
MikeYeo, 38, is the youngest coach in the NHL - and is not that far removed from playing hockey himself: he was a member o...