Cal Clutterbuck named Welland Sportsperson of the Year

NHL all-time hits leader proudly calls the Rose City home. Pictured: Cal Clutterbuck. Photo Credit: New York Islanders. 

He received the call about a month ago from his father to tell him he was being named the Welland Sportsperson of the Year. 

Friday night at Casa Dante in Welland, Cal Clutterbuck’s father, Tim, accepted the H.L. Cudney Memorial Award on his behalf. 

“Welland has a special place in my heart,” said the current NHL New York Islanders forward and all-time NHL hits leader. “I love Welland, and love the fact that I grew up there. It prepared me so well for what my life was going to entail, and allowed me to have a solid foundation and go out in the world and give things a shot.”

“I’m so very grateful to the people in that town, and the way I grew up there. For me to be recognized by the town is a special thing for me.”

Tim Clutterbuck echoed many of his son’s comments during Friday’s acceptance speech. 

“The path to the NHL is not always as smooth as you might imagine, but it starts in places like this, it starts with people like you, it starts with the commitment of volunteers, coaches, parents who get involved,” he said. “Cal has tremendous memories of Welland.”

Clutterbuck is also the first player from the Rose City to play in 1,000 NHL games. 

One of Clutterbuck’s favorite memories from his playing days in Welland was a call-up he received that would be unheard of here in 2024. 

“I think I was maybe 13 (years old) and I got called up to play in a midget tournament in Prescott Ontario, with players (16, 17, 18) that were already men.”

To top off Friday’s honour, Clutterbuck was just notified he’s the Islanders’ nominee for the Bill Masterton Memorial Trophy this season. 

The Masterton Trophy is presented annually to the NHL player for perseverance, sportsmanship, and dedication to the sport. 

Clutterbuck is having his best season, points wise, since 2018-19 when recorded 23 points in 73 games. Here in 2023-24 he’s registered seven goals and 19 points, to go along with 262 hits, in 77 games thus far. 

“It’s great, at my age, I’m still able to have the same impact on the game,” said Clutterbuck. “Hopefully I can keep playing for a couple of more years.” 

Clutterbuck also made sure to thank numerous people from here in Niagara. 

“It starts with my parents and my sister, obviously. You see really how much it does take for parents to sacrifice for their kids.”

“All my coaches, Ray Boutin, Lindsay Duncan, Mark LaForest, Chris Johnstone – I had a lot of support,” he continued. “My buddies and my teammates. My extended family. There was no lack of support for me. And I know I’m missing people, but they know who they are.”

Congratulations to one of the Rose City’s finest, Cal Clutterbuck, who promises he’ll be home in Welland this summer to throw out a first pitch at a Jackfish game.

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