The New York Islanders have always prided themselves on skill and talent but rarely do they admit the need for toughness, unless you count the last few years. On draft day, the Islanders traded for Cal Clutterbuck, who not only can score, but will defend his teammates when they are being targeted. I had the chance to talk with Cal about the type of player he is and what he will bring to the Islanders.
Cal will be an instant fan favorite, as soon as he steps on the ice.
First off, welcome to the Islanders organization. Could you tell the fans a little about yourself?
I was born and raised in Welland Ontario, played all my minor hockey there until it was time to go off and play in the OHL. I played with John T in juniors for 2 years in Oshawa. I'm a hard working, pretty all-around, up and down winger.
When you received the call on Draft Day that you had been traded to the Islanders by the Wild, what where your initial thoughts?
Obviously it's an odd feeling when you first get traded. Once you get over the initial wave of calls and media you kinda have time to take it in, look into your new team and situation. I'm very excited to be a part of this team. Im excited for the opportunity personally, and looking forward to helping this team get back to where they were a little while back.
You recently signed a long term deal with the Islanders, 4 years to be exact. What drew you to sign the 4 year deal? Was it playing in Brooklyn? Playing with John Tavares? Being close to the City? Or was it simply that the Islanders are an up and coming team?
I think all of those things. First off when a team shows that kind of desire to have you around long term, it gives you confidence to be able to go out and play well. I also think there's a good opportunity for me to take my game to another level and with that become a big piece of the puzzle here.
I know you played with Tavares in London of the OHL. What chemistry have the two of you formed from those days that might help take the Islanders to the next level. Do you think you are a candidate for the first line RW?
John and I spent two seasons together in Oshawa. I think the big thing, obviously other than playing on his line, is that John was 14 years old at the start. I was 17-18 and had played in the league for a cople years already. The team was just an aversge team struggling at the time. John and I, along with other teammates had a big hand in bringing that team to another level. As far as first line RW goes, I'll leave that up the coaching staff.
I have spoken to many fans who have been skeptical of the trade, and I reassure them that you will be an instant fan favorite. Could you explain to the Islander faithful, the type of player you are and how your style fits into the Islanders game plan?
I'm a pretty reliable, consistent physical player. I take pride in killing penalties, in being good defensively and in being physical. I think I also have the ability to score goals, something that I think I will be able to do with this team. I think it'll fit in well with this team because you can never have enough guys who play the game hard, and the team already has a lot of that. So I'm just hoping to add to the mix.
On July 5th the Islanders signed your Wild teammate Pierre-Marc Bouchard to a one year deal. Can you briefly describe his style what he will mean to the team.
Butch is one of the most skilled guys I've ever played with. His quickness, puckhandling nd speed make him a great compliment to anyone who plays with him. I think he has great vision and can quarterback a power play with the best of them. I think very highly of him as a player and a person so there's no question he'll be great for this team
I know that players in all sports pick their numbers for various reasons, is there significance to the number 15 that you picked?
I picked it because when I was young I always wore 12. When I made the jump to play Jr.B 12 was taken so I resorted to 15. I had a really good year and got drafted to the OHL. I went back to 12 for a bit but took 15 again when I got traded to oshawa and had 2 career seasons. So it's a number I've come to like.
Coming to a new team can be hard at first especially since you have spent your entire career in Minnesota. Does knowing JT and Bouchard help ease the transition?
Ya it does, especially being traded in the summer is tough because you have to find a place to live and you have no idea where your teammates live and hangout. So to have JT to fill me in on all that is a great luxury. Other than that hockey is a small community and it doesn’t usually take long for guys to get to know one another.
Lastly, I have to ask, have you spoken to Matt Martin about changing your names to the “Bash Brothers” as in the Mighty Ducks films with Fulton and Reed? The two of you have led the NHL in hits the last few years.
Haha i've had a couple comments about that, it's funny. I'm sure we'd like to think we have a little more skill than them but I guess well have to see