Minnesota Wild beat reporter Mike Russo wrote that the Oilers are actively pursuing Cal Clutterbuck and the trade could involve Tyler Pitlick. 

One team hot after him is Edmonton; the Wild has talked to the Oilers about a deal that would include Minnesotan Tyler Pitlick. 

Russo had the above line in his piece on the Wild’s salary cap situation and where Clutterbuck fits. Clutterbuck is an RFA, and he just finished a three-year deal with a $1.4 million cap hit. He made $1.7 million in actual dollars last year, so you’d think he’d be looking at a deal north of $2 million.

Clutterbuck is coming off his worst season in four years. He scored only 4 goals and 10 points in 42 games last season, but the previous three years he was decent offensively.

YEAR             GP      G        A      PTS      PIM        +/-
2010              74      13      8        21         52         -8
2011              76       19     15      34         79         -5
2012              74      15      12      27        103       -4

The Oilers wouldn’t add Clutterbuck just for his offence. He’s been a 3rd pairing forward on the PK the past four seasons in Minnesota, and he plays with an edge. He’s one of the most physical forwards in the NHL, having led the NHL in hits in 2010 (318), 2011 (336) and he was 3rd in hits in 2012 with 288.

Some will argue that because the Chicago Blackhawks rarely hit you don’t need physical players to win, but the Oilers don’t possess a blueline like the Hawks, nor are their forwards in the same category as Patrick Kane, Jonathan Toews and Patrick Sharp.

The Oilers haven’t had a physical player, who could produce and play significant minutes since Ehan Moreau scored 20 goals in 2004. Ryan Jones was pretty good in 2011, but he’s not an overly physical player.

JF Jacques led the Oiler forwards in hits in 2010 with 158.
Ryan Jones had 152 in 2011, and he scored 18 goals.
Lennart Petrell had 122 in 2012 and Mike Brown led them with 65 this past season.

Outside of Jones, none of the others played significant minutes or made much of an impact offensively, and they were usually a liability defensively.

Clutterbuck’s corsi numbers aren’t stellar, but in 2012 the Wild had the worst corsi rating of any team in the league. The entire team sucked, but Clutterbuck has shown improvement over the years. If you want to see his Corsi, Fenwick and other stats read here.

Clutterbuck is exactly what the Oilers need. A fiesty third line player, who can inject some energy, annoys the opposition, skates well, can help out on the PK, plays on the edge and has some decent offensive potential.

If the Oilers have to part with Pitlick and something else to obtain Clutterbuck, I’d do it yesterday.