Islanders D Cal Clutterbuck has a new nickname, but he isn't too fond of it.
"Shuttlebuck" came about from an interview with Flyers F Robert Hagg, who expressed his hatred for Clutterbuck during an interview after the Isles preseason opener at the Coliseum.
"It doesn't matter if you play against Martin or Shuttlebuck, or whatever it is -- I hate that guy," Hagg told The Post's Brett Cygalis. "There's that kind of player on every team."
Clutterbuck didn't feel like addressing Hagg's comment, sying "I don't even want to respond. Just leave it."
The 31-year-old is a staple on the Islanders' fourth line, which is one of the best in the NFL. With the return of F Matt Martin to that line with Clutterbuck and D Casey Cizikas, head coach Barry Trotz is counting on them to play as they did back in the 2015-16 campaign.
"They were a lot of the identity of what the Islanders were, especially in the Coliseum," Trotz said. "So, Matt is a reall good pro, and I think he's going to be good for the group. And obviously they have chemistry. So I felt they were a real strong fourth line, one of the strongest in the league. We believe they can play together."
The Islanders clearly have faith in this fourth line, given all three of these players' contracts. Clutterbuck is set to make $3.5 million this season, with Cizikas a $3.35 million cap hit and Martin an annual $2.5 million cap hit. But it is definitely worth it if they pay dividends comparable to the past.
In that 2015-16 year, Clutterbuck had 15 goals, Martin had 10, and Cizikas finished with eight. Clutterbuck knows it's possible to get that production this season too.
"We're trying to get used to the new struture thing, with where we're supposed to be," he explained. "So maybe a little hesitation on our part. But everything else -- I think the offense will come back, feel each other out again, remember where we hang out and where we like to be. Stuff like that will come.
"The energy and commitment, we're all on the same wavelength as far as beats-per-minute go. So that's a good thing. When one guy goes in, the second layer goes right in and that's nice to have."