Rangers Roundup: Cal Clutterbuck rumors, remembering Emile Francis, and more

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Jan 12, 2019; Brooklyn, NY, USA; New York Islanders right wing Cal Clutterbuck (15) plays the puck against New York Rangers center Mika Zibanejad (93) during the second period at Barclays Center. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports

The New York Rangers need more 5v5 scoring. That’s a given.

Their third line featuring Filip Chytil, Julien Gauthier, and Dryden Hunt is not cutting it on any level. However, the last thing that the Blueshirts need is another grinder to fill the bottom six that can’t score.

Enter in the name Cal Clutterbuck, who was introduced to the convo by NY Post’s Larry Brooks and this morning by The Athletic’s Arthur Staple.

Rangers don’t need Cal Clutterbuck

To be fair, both Brooks and Staple say that it is unlikely that Lou Lamoriello would ever help the Blueshirts. In all his years running the Devils and now Islanders, he’s never once made a trade with the Rangers.

Don’t expect one now.

Bringing in Clutterbuck solves nothing for the Rangers scoring needs. The lineup to date has five fourth liners playing in the bottom six (Rooney, Reaves, McKegg, Hunt, and Gauthier). One could argue if the Rangers were built to perfection, Barclay Goodrow with Rooney and Reaves would be a an incredible 3A line, not a fourth.

cal clutterbuck rangers
Bruce Bennett/Pool Photo-USA TODAY Sports

As for Clutterbuck, if the Rangers wanted to solidify their 4th line for a playoff run, I could understand the interest. That’s not their main issue, since the Reaves and Rooney bring hard-nosed and physical edge to the lineup on every shift.

Meanwhile, the 34 year-old Clutterbuck has 11 points in 45 games this season but hasn’t scored a goal in 20 games. The main reason he’s being discussed is due to his UFA status, and the Islanders likely sell position due to the high probability they will miss the playoffs.

Simply put, the Rangers don’t need Clutterbuck.

More messages of appreciation for Emile Francis

New York Rangers great and Hockey Hall of Fame member Emile “The Cat” Francis, a longtime coach and general manager, died on Saturday at age 95.

As a coach, Francis was 388-273-117 with the New York Rangers (1965-75) and St. Louis Blues (1976-77, 1981-83) and led his team to the Stanley Cup playoffs 11 times, reaching the final in 1972. The Rangers lost to the Boston Bruins in six games.

He was general manager of those teams, too — the Rangers from 1964-76, the Blues from 1976-83 — along with the Hartford Whalers (1983-89).

His lasting impact is felt in the players and people he touched with his acts of kindness and caring.

emile francis
Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports

EDDIE GIACOMIN: “Sharing a common trait in being a goaltender for the New York Rangers, the relationship I had with Emile Francis was powerful and influential as I progressed through my career in the NHL. On a personal note, Emile was like a second father to me.  His trust and loyalty helped shape the person I am today. I am forever grateful for the belief he showed in me!”  

NICK FOTIU: “Growing up in Staten Island when I did, hockey wasn’t as accessible to all as it is now. That changed in the mid-60’s when Emile Francis started institutions like the Metropolitan Junior Hockey League that gave kids in New York City the opportunity to learn and love the sport of hockey. With his guidance, Emile sent me to Cape Cod to play for the NY Ranger farm team, and that allowed me to become the first New York City native to don the Blueshirt. His inspiration will be felt beyond his years throughout the city, Madison Square Garden and beyond.  Many are grateful because of that, including me.  My most sincere condolences to the Emile Francis family.”

BRIAN MULLEN: “Emile Francis had the biggest influence on my hockey career, and I am forever grateful for the opportunity he gave me, my brother, and countless kids in the New York Metropolitan Area. Emile had the foresight and realization that kids he saw playing hockey on roller skates in the streets of Manhattan could play at higher levels if given the opportunity to do so on ice. Emile’s impact in growing the game of hockey in New York and the United States cannot be overstated, and I feel so fortunate to continue what he started by helping introduce kids to hockey today. It was an honor to know Emile, and my thoughts are with his family and friends.”

BRAD PARK: “I have great affection for Emile Francis as he was the most organized coach I ever played for. He allowed me to become the player that I was capable of and encouraged me many times to be a true New York Ranger. As a general manager he was honest and straightforward. Thank you, Emile!”

PETE STEMKOWSKI: “Emile Francis was a bundle of energy, both on and off the ice. I’ve been in the hockey business for over 50 years, and if I was putting together a list of the top five people I’ve had the opportunity to come across, he would be there. Emile always cared for his players and their lives away from the rink, and he wanted to know how he could help them. He was really the one responsible for starting amateur hockey in New York and growing the game for kids throughout the city. Emile will be sorely missed.”

ADAM GRAVES: “I am saddened to hear of the passing of Emile Francis, who was one of the finest gentlemen I’ve had the opportunity to meet. Emile’s love for hockey and the Rangers were apparent from the moment you met him. ‘The Cat’ was one of the greatest ambassadors the Rangers have had throughout their history, and his impact on growing the game of hockey in New York will continue to live on for generations to come.”

Rest in peace Emile.

-All statements courtesy of the New York Rangers

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Anthony Scultore is the founder of Forever Blueshirts and has been covering the New York Rangers and the NHL... More about Anthony Scultore

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