Clutterbuck could ‘probably’ debut for Isles tonight, but won’t


For once, Cal Clutterbuck is playing it safe.

The high-energy forward, known for his relentless (or, as some suggest, reckless) style of play, won’t make his New York Islanders debut on Tuesday against Phoenix, opting to take another game of rest to repair a preseason leg laceration.

“I could probably play today,” Clutterbuck said, as per “But I think just in talking it over with the medical staff and the coaches, it’s just probably better that I be more prudent at this point. I’ve lost two games, three tonight. In the grand of scheme of things, 82 games plus playoffs, I think it’s maybe a little bit smarter to miss an extra one versus missing some more down the road.”

Clutterbuck, 25, suffered a pretty serious cut early in the third period of an exhibition game against Calgary. He immediately left the ice and appeared to be in serious discomfort, didn’t return, and was later ruled out for 4-6 weeks.

His recovery has been speedier than first estimated, though. There’s a good chance he’ll make his regular season debut on Friday in Chicago, and New York could definitely use his presence against the defending Stanley Cup champs.

Clutterbuck, an energetic forward and former junior teammate of Isles captain John Tavares, was brought aboard to add physicality to New York’s forward group and inked four-year, $11 million deal in July, shortly after being acquired from Minnesota in exchange for Nino Niederreiter.

As for where he’ll play? Clutterbuck began training camp on a line with Peter Regin and Michael Grabner, but Grabner is now playing with Frans Nielsen and Josh Bailey while Regin is centering Brock Nelson and Pierre-Marc Bouchard.

Senators select Kyle Turris as alternate captain

Chris Neil Kyle Turris Dustin Tokarski
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Kyle Turris is gearing up for his fifth season with the Ottawa Senators, but this campaign will be a little different.

Ottawa announced that Turris will be joining Chris Neil as one of the team’s alternate captains. Turris is assuming that role from Chris Phillips as the 37-year-old defenseman remains out indefinitely due to a back injury.

Since being acquired from the then Phoenix Coyotes in 2011, Turris has established himself as one of Ottawa’s top forwards. He tied for second in the team’s scoring race last season with 64 points in 82 contests and gelled with rookie linemate Mark Stone.

With the Senators favoring a youth movement, Turris actually stands out as one of the Senators’ more experienced players at the age of 26. He’s also set to play a big role with the Senators for years to come as he’s locked to an affordable $3.5 million annual cap hit through 2017-18.

Meanwhile defenseman Erik Karlsson is getting ready for his second season as the team’s captain.

Another Sabre hurt: Gionta (lower body) day-to-day

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On the eve of their season opener, the Buffalo Sabres got another bit of bad health news.

Captain Brian Gionta missed practice and is day-to-day with a lower-body injury, per head coach Dan Bylsma. The ailment puts the 36-year-old’s availability for Thursday’s game against Ottawa in jeopardy.

The ailment also puts Gionta alongside a slew of hurting Sabres. Defensemen Zach Bogosian and Josh Gorges were on the injured list when Buffalo’ roster was released this morning, along with rookie Brendan Guhle and veteran Cody McCormick.

There is a bright light for Buffalo, however.

Gorges skated on Wednesday and could possibly dress tomorrow, per Bylsma. If he does play, it’ll likely be on a pairing with Rasmus Ristolainen.