Cal Clutterbuck’s return to the NHL will start in the AHL.
The Islanders placed the gritty right wing, sidelined since having his left wrist slashed by Patrice Bergeron’s skate blade in Boston on Dec. 19, on long-term injured reserve on Friday and assigned him to their affiliate in Bridgeport for a conditioning assignment.
It was part of a flurry of roster moves as the Islanders also recalled Andrew Ladd and Otto Koivula from Bridgeport and reassigned Kieffer Bellows to the Sound Tigers.
Bridgeport will host Hershey on Saturday and Hartford on Sunday.
“The hope would be for him to play this week and have good results and, hopefully, join us shortly,” coach Barry Trotz said. “Clutter came to Lou [Lamoriello, the Islanders’ president and general manager] and said, ‘I wouldn’t mind going down.’
“That says a lot about Clutter,” Trotz added. “Some guys feel too big that they can’t go down there. He’s preparing to help us and, by doing that, he’s going to get some game action and join us if everything goes well.”
Trotz confirmed that Derick Brassard went through the concussion protocol after being struck in the head by a puck in Wednesday’s 3-1 loss at Colorado . . . Bellows had two goals and one assist in seven games in his first NHL call-up. “Kieffer has done a really good job in his stint,” Trotz said. “It’s a good start. It’s dried up a little bit for him. I think he’s opened our eyes to his development.” . . . Noah Dobson and Ross Johnston were healthy scratches . . . Anders Lee, in cartoon form, is a guest on NHL Network Ice Time on Saturday at 9 a.m., a show geared for younger viewers. Lee, interviewed by Mike Rupp, discusses his career and scoring a goal in his first game.
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