The trade not solely was made for the incorrect purpose, it was a deal that just about no different govt within the NHL would have made on the time.
But Garth Snow, then the Islanders basic supervisor, did it sending 20-year-old Nino Niederrieter to Minnesota lower than three years after his fifth-overall choice within the entry draft in change for a third-round choice and bottom-six ahead Cal Clutterbuck.
The deal adopted a minimum of a yr of bickering between the Islanders and Niederreiter’s camp that led to the winger’s agent requesting a trade after his 2011-12 rookie season wherein he was stored on the roster so the group might meet the cap flooring after which was not invited to the following coaching camp.
Niederreiter was used sparingly in 55 video games, scoring one aim, whereas scratched repeatedly. Then, whereas the NHL was enduring Owners’ Lockout III in 2012-13, the Swiss recorded 36 factors (17-19) in 39 AHL video games. His reward was to not obtain a coaching camp invite after the lockout led to mid-January.
When a trade request grew to become public, Snow apparently didn’t search a reconciliation. Instead, he moved the gifted Niederreiter to the Wild for a 25-year-old ahead who had scored a profession whole of 62 targets in 5 seasons.
Eight years later, that ahead is the third longest-tenured participant on the Islanders. Eight years later, Clutterbuck has emerged as one of many group’s integral items within the playoffs that continued on Monday night time in Tampa with Game 5 of the Cup semifinals.
Josh Bailey is the senior Islander, and actually the senior New York professional athlete, right here since 2008-09. Then comes Casey Cizikas, who joined the membership in 2012-13. Then Clutterbuck. And although Matt Martin’s tenure was interrupted along with his two seasons in Toronto in 2016-17 and 2017-18, he first joined the Islanders for 2010-11.
So three of the 4 Islanders with probably the most seniority (let’s not be technical or choosy) are the three guys who’re on the core of their identity. You would possibly even wish to name the trio, “The Identity Line.” Oops, somebody already did.
Cizikas, Martin and Clutterbuck are on the core of the group identity and have been on the core of the group’s success all through the event. Cizikas, in fact, scored the breakaway additional time aim to beat the Bruins in Game 2 of the second spherical.
And Martin and Clutterbuck not solely have continued to pound away and take items of flesh from the Lightning, they each contributed offensively in Saturday night time’s Pulockian victory in Game 4 on the Coliseum.
It was Clutterbuck who wristed one from the precise level that created the rebound off of which Mathew Barzal scored to provide his group a 2-0 lead. And then it was Martin who escaped Brayden Point to place house a neat backhander off an Adam Pelech rebound to raise the result in 3-0 late within the second interval and stand because the winner.
It seems as if Clutterbuck and Martin have elevated their video games all through the playoffs however that may not be true. It would possibly simply be that there’s extra deal with them throughout the postseason, when all the pieces is magnified. It would possibly simply be that the playoffs characterize their — and Cizikas’ — time.
It’s not that they need to prepare for the playoffs however quite that the playoffs prepare for them.
“The funny thing is that they really play playoff hockey all year and I don’t know if they know how to play any other way,” head coach Barry Trotz stated when requested particularly about Martin and Clutterbuck. “I say that with a variety of respect as a result of that’s a method of play the place they’re bumping and grinding, they’re good defensively, they get a forecheck, they’re arduous on their opponents and so they put on individuals out.
“That’s sort of their DNA.”
Martin and Clutterbuck hit for a purpose. With a objective. They don’t hit to injure. But they intend for each blow to make an impression. Incredibly, authorized checks thrown by the 2 wingers concussed three defensemen — Jacob Trouba, Ryan Lindgren and Brandon Carlo — inside six weeks.
The performs ended every defenseman’s season. For Cizikas, Martin and Clutterbuck (who has matched his season aim whole with 4 within the playoffs), their season was simply getting began.
“Come playoff time, that fits in their wheelhouse,” stated Trotz, who’s comfy sending that unit on for any matchup. “That’s why they always have a real good playoffs for us.”
So, Niederreiter for Clutterbuck. Are you making that trade now? If so, a minimum of you’d be doing it for the precise purpose.