Islanders’ Cal Clutterbuck doesn’t sound ready for retirement yet: ‘Still capable’

On the day Cal Clutterbuck was announced as the Islanders’ nominee for the Bill Masterton Memorial Trophy, the 36-year-old stalwart gave a strong indication that he does not plan for this season to be his last.

“I haven’t really thought of it, just because I’m not sure there’s anything to think about,” Clutterbuck told reporters on a Zoom call. “If my season hadn’t gone well this year, if I had another major injury, maybe I would have something to think about. But in my mind, I think I’m still capable. And it’s another one of those things where I honestly haven’t given it that much thought. It’s something that’ll work itself out.

“It’s obviously not in my control. What’s in my control is going out there and doing my job. And if I continue to go out there and do my job well, then I’m sure there’ll be an opportunity if I want to.”

Cal Clutterbuck is on pace to play all 82 games for the first time in his career. Corey Sipkin for the NY Post

Clutterbuck, whose contract expires following this season, was nominated for the Masterton Trophy — which rewards perseverance, dedication and sportsmanship — by the Islanders’ chapter of the Professional Hockey Writers’ Association.

Despite suffering numerous injuries in the past, Clutterbuck is on pace to play all 82 games for the first time in his career.

He also became the first player to record 4,000 hits since the league started keeping the stat officially in the 2005-06 season.

“Those two words [perseverance and dedication] are kind of everything for me,” Clutterbuck said. “Those are the things that have allowed me to do this for as long as I have and whether I’m fighting through injuries or not.

“Those are the two things that right from the time I was a kid growing up in Welland, Ontario and my coaches and everyone who was around the game would always talk about talent being one thing, but hard work and dedication and commitment being the thing that puts people into a different category. And fortunate for me, that was impressed upon me at a young age and it’s just become part of my fabric and my fiber.”

Cal Clutterbuck became the first player to record 4,000 hits since the league started keeping the stat officially in the 2005-06 season.  Corey Sipkin for the NY Post

Clutterbuck has said throughout this season that despite his age, he still feels good and that the injuries he suffered — a skate cut in 2019, a shoulder issue that required surgery in 2022 — did not come as a product of his body breaking down.

“Obviously I had some tough luck the last four or five years,” he said. “Then you throw in a shortened season, which I was mostly healthy for [in 2020-21], I think it kind of gives the illusion that I’m not as capable as I used to be, but I’m glad I got a fair shake out of this year.”

And, hopefully, next year.

Cal Clutterbuck sounds like he wants to return for another NHL season. Corey Sipkin for the NY Post

Semyon Varlamov is expected to start in goal on Saturday against the Predators.

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