New York - June 2, 2019 - Cal Clutterbuck is expected to be ready for training camp in September after the New York Islanders forward had back surgery last month.
"It's my understanding he will be," Islanders general manager Lou Lamoriello told The Athletic on Friday, "but honestly it's a process I don't know much about. He's doing well right now. I get updates all the time, he's been here. We just have to trust the process and the doctors. It turned out the way the doctors felt it would."
Clutterbuck said on May 6 that he'd been playing through several back issues, including two slipped disks, two rotated vertebrae and a stress fracture. He did not play in Game 4 of the Eastern Conference Second Round against the Carolina Hurricanes, a 5-2 loss that ended New York's season.
In 73 games this season, Clutterbuck had 23 points (eight goals, 15 assists). He did not have a point in seven playoff games.
Forward Andrew Ladd had surgery in March to repair a torn ACL in his left knee, and his recovery is "more black and white," Lamoriello said, with a timeline of 5-6 months that would take him close to training camp.
Ladd played in 26 games this season and had 11 points (three goals, eight assists).
The Islanders signed unrestricted free agent center Brock Nelson to a six-year contract May 23, but three other UFAs -- forwards Anders Lee and Jordan Eberle, and goalie Robin Lehner - each can become a UFA on July 1. On Friday, New York agreed to terms on a two-year contract with center Tanner Fritz, who also could have become a UFA on July 1. Fritz played eight games with the Islanders this season before having surgery to remove a blood clot from his hand.
"We want all our free agents back, we're going to work as hard as we can to get it to come about," Lamoriello said.
The GM said New York will make a qualifying offer to 23-year-old restricted free agent forward Joshua Ho-Sang, a first-round pick (No. 28) in the 2014 NHL Draft who played 10 games and had two points (goal, assist) with the Islanders but played the rest of this season with Bridgeport of the American Hockey League.