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Stu and Clarence's Hunt Down: Former Wild player Cal Clutterbuck (and the Nino Niederreiter trade)

  • Blog Post by: Michael Rand
  • May 2, 2014 - 4:07 PM

We might let this stand as the final post of the day because of its relevance and the fact that two of your favorite commenters -- RandBallsStu and Clarence Swamptown -- combined on a Hunt down of former Wild player Cal Clutterbuck and his trade to the Islanders for Game 7 hero Nino Niederreiter. It required more editing than usual (Clarence), but it was worth it. Fellas?

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The Hunt Down

Name: Cal Clutterbuck

Claim to Fame, Minnesota: played right wing for your Minnesota Wild from 2007-2013.  Had a brief interval with the Wild’s Houston affiliate in 2008 before settling in with the franchise.  His most noteworthy achievement was during his rookie season, when he set the NHL record for hits with 356.  This is not to be confused with the record for most country music hits, which still belongs to the Ol’ Possum, George Jones.  Also grew a fine mustache.  Was traded the day of the 2013 NHL Draft to the Islanders for a 3rd-round pick and Nino Niederreiter, who my mother has now heard of.  

A Brief Word on This Trade and the Minnesota Wild’s Past, Present & Future from the Internet’s Clarence Swamptown:

I have a billion words on Cal Clutterbuck but I'll try to boil it down to this: the Clutterbuck-Nutterbutter trade provided a microcosm of what I've been begging for from the Wild for years. They desperately needed to start scrapping their stockpile of the likable, scrappy, slow, limited skill veterans in favor of faster, younger, raw players with higher upside. And even today they still are not completely there. Rupp, Konopka, McCormick, Ballard, Brodziak, Heatley, Veilleux; they’ve all taken valuable minutes away from much more talented youngsters. But the Clutterbuck-Nutterbutter trade encapsulated a significant step in the right direction. For far too long this franchise was mired in the Jacques Lemaire boring-as-some-3-hour-Hilary-Swank-Oscar-bait-sleeping-pill neutral zone trap game. (I don’t mean to make it sound like Clutterbuck is some old veteran, he’s only like 26 years old, but he feels a lot older. And that’s not the point anyway. But let’s move on.)

All of that said, Cal Clutterbuck is a [redacted] awesome name. Let’s break it down. To start: Cal. Cal is an awesome first name.. “[Redacted] this snowblower. Gotta call Cal I guess. Overahaul the carb. Needles, gaskets, whole nine. Cal will take care of it.” Timeless first name. Then there’s Clutterbuck. What a great hockey surname. Add them together. Cal Clutterbuck. Alliterative. It’s got it all.

Cal Clutterbuck was a good player for the Wild. Many times on some bitter, 2- below January Wednesday night game against Edmonton, Cal was the only bright spot in an otherwise forgettable 2-1 snoozer.

Anyway, I’ll try to summarize by saying this: While the Wild already had some high-end, quality players on the horizon, I believe history will someday show that the Clutterbuck-Nutterbutter trade was the definitive watershed moment when this franchise finally went from a band of nomadic role players with limited skill to an up-and-coming, fast, strong, skilled group of youngsters with something to prove.

Thanks Stu. I have no idea if any of that made any sense. But good luck. Thanks again.

Claim to Fame, Everywhere Else: the Wellman Welland, Ontario native played juniors for teams in Toronto and Oshawa before being drafted by the Wild in the third round of the 2006 draft.  He is not separated from Hilary Duff, TV’s Lizzie McGuire.  That person is former NHL player Mike Comrie.  Clutterbuck is married to Cassie DePalo, per the Google search engine.

Where He Is Now: still with the Islanders.  Finished this past season with 12 goals, three of which were short-handed, or “shortest ones” in hockey’s obsolete vernacular.

Is He on Twitter: no.  There are multiple parody accounts, if that’s your thing.

Has He Ever Been in a Twitter Feud with Patrick Reusse: no. Uncle Pat did call him overrated in a prescient column from October of last year, though.  

Glorious Randomness: the Select Committee On Perfect Names, which is a thing I made up, has determined that the trade of Nino Niederreiter for Cal Clutterbuck is the best alliterative sports trade of modern times, and second-best overall sports names trade behind the miraculous Charlie Furbush/Doug Fister deal.  That one even had a human adult named Casper involved, which is just gilding the darn lily. It will never be equaled.

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