Despite being well out of the playoff picture, a pair of New York Islanders veterans are staying put. ESPN’s Kevin Weekes reports that forwards Zach Parise and Cal Clutterbuck have signed extensions in New York. Per the Islanders, Clutterbuck’s extension is for two years, while Parise’s is just for one. The deals will go into effect for the 2022-23 season.
Per Sportsnet’s Elliotte Friedman, Clutterbuck’s deal carries a cap hit of $1.75MM.
Parise, who signed a one-year league-minimum deal to join the team after getting bought out by the Minnesota Wild, has provided great value for that $750,000 cap hit. Despite seeing limited ice time, he has eight goals and 24 points in 60 games, a decent offensive clip and good consistency. The 37-year-old has improved his defensive game from his last years in Minnesota as well.
Clutterbuck is extremely likely to take a pay cut from his previous deal, which paid him $3.5MM a year. He remains a very good defensive winger but is really beginning to struggle offensively and on special teams. He has 15 points in 59 games this season, averaging 14:02 per game.
If you think this news is puzzling, you’re not alone. Rumors swirled for weeks about both of these players getting dealt prior to the Trade Deadline, especially Clutterbuck. But general manager Lou Lamoriello has a history of retaining his veterans whenever possible in an effort to keep consistent voices in the locker room, and it appears that pattern hasn’t changed. It could be that the organization views this year as an outlier, a somewhat reasonable assumption considering their 13-game road trip to start the year and their rash of injuries.
But it’s a gamble nonetheless by the Islanders, as they continue to limit internal opportunities for young players within their organization.