Uniondale, NY, United States (4E Sports) – Right wing Cal Clutterbuck’s debut with the New York Islander will have to wait for a few more days.
The team decided to sit Clutterbuck for its game against the Phoenix Coyotes Tuesday to ensure that he’s 100 percent before playing his first regular-season game for the Islanders.
Clutterbuck suffered a lacerated leg during a preseason game against the Calgary Flames on Sept. 17. Originally slated to miss 4-6 weeks, Clutterbuck could be in the lineup as early as Friday night, when the Islanders visit the Chicago Blackhawks.
“I could probably play today,” Clutterbuck said. “But I think just in talking it over with the medical staff and the coaches, it’s just probably better that I be more prudent at this point. I’ve lost two games, three tonight.”
” In the grand of scheme of things, 82 games plus playoffs, I think it’s maybe a little bit smarter to miss an extra one versus missing some more down the road,” he added.
Clutterbuck was acquired from the Minnesota Wild, along with a third-round pick, at the 2013 NHL Draft in exchange for right wing Nino Niederreiter.
The 25-year-old saw his offensive production dip last season with four goals and six assists in 42 games, but he did finish in the top 10 in the NHL with 155 hits.
Islanders coach Jack Capuano knows the style of game Clutterbuck brings to the table and wants the gritty wing to be 100 percent before inserting him into the lineup.
“For the injury that he sustained and as quickly as he’s come back, we don’t play again until Friday, so this is a perfect opportunity for us for these few days to continue to work on his conditioning,” Capuano said.