Tag: Rich Clune

Rich Clune

Clune is set to attend Leafs camp after signing with AHL’s Marlies


Rich Clune signed with the AHL’s Toronto Marlies, who noted that the gritty winger is also expected to attend the Maple Leafs’ upcoming training camp.

Clune, 28, was already the type of hard-nosed player that fans often get behind, but his soul-searching article with The Players’ Tribune only made him easier to root for.

He really exposed some painful truths in that beautifully written piece:

Between the ages of 15-24, I was not here. I was checked out. I did not exist. Rich Clune the pro hockey player existed. He got in over 150 fights and drove drunk and chased women and laughed and cried and lived in oblivion. But Rich Clune, the kid who loved art and film and read books and thought deeply about life, that guy was just not around. He couldn’t cope with the pressure.

Then one day, he woke up. I wish I could tell you it was when L.A. Kings assistant GM Ron Hextall pulled me aside and said, point blank, “Rich, do you want me to get you some help?” I wish it was when my parents begged me for the millionth time. But it wasn’t like a movie. One day, I just woke up and had enough.

By no means has Clune dropped the gloves after becoming sober. Clune fought 17 times at the AHL level (and once in the NHL’s preseason) during the 2014-15 season, according to Hockey Fights.

He’s been with the Nashville Predators organization since 2012-13, spending last season primarily with the Milwaukee Admirals. He did spend most of 2013-14 with Nashville, however, generating seven points and 166 PIM in 58 games.

The Leafs are going younger and cheaper, yet during this rebuilding process, it’s plausible that Clune might get some NHL reps. He’ll certainly have some people behind him as he tries to do so, too.

Preds’ Clune clears waivers, buyout coming

Rich Clune

Predators forward Rich Clune cleared unconditional waivers on Sunday and will likely be bought out by Nashville.

Clune has one year remaining on his two-year, $1.7 million deal with a cap hit of $850,000.

According to Capfriendly.com, the buyout will cost the Preds $283,333 in each of the next two seasons.

“I’m very grateful for my years playing for the Nashville Predators,” Clune said via Twitter. I want to thank David Poile and the rest of the staff for everything. Most important my teammates and the fans mean the world to me. Thank you.

“Nothing changes, I plan on playing in the NHL next season and will continue my rigorous training regimen out in Los Angeles this off season.”

Clune spent most of the 2014-15 season with the AHL’s Milwaukee Admirals scoring six goals and 17 points to go along with 181 penalty minutes.

Parenteau, Fistric land on unconditional waivers

In addition to Mike Richards, Ducks’ defenseman Mark Fistric and Habs’ forward P.A. Parenteau have also been placed on unconditional waivers for the purpose of a buyout.

Fistric’s buyout will cost the Ducks $1.8 million over the next four years while Parenteau will cost the Habs $1.3 million each of the next two seasons.

Preds waive Clune, activate Cullen, send Stalberg to AHL on conditioning assignment

Rich Clune, Patrick Wey

The Nashville Predators have placed tough guy Rich Clune on waivers, according to Sportsnet’s Elliotte Friedman.

The club intends to send Clune to AHL Milwaukee.

Clune has only appeared in one Preds game this season, the team’s first, skating for just 5:30 in a 3-2 win over Ottawa on Oct. 9. The 27-year-old is signed through next season for a cap hit of $850,000. When he’s sent to the minors, assuming he clears waivers, his contract will be fully buried, cap-wise.

In a related story, according to the Preds’ website, forward Matt Cullen will be activated off injured reserve, “making him available for the team’s upcoming road trip that begins Wednesday night in Edmonton.”

Also, forward Viktor Stalberg has been assigned to Milwaukee on a conditioning assignment.

“Both Rich and Viktor have seen limited playing time this season at the NHL level and we feel that they will benefit from the additional ice time that they will receive in Milwaukee,” said GM David Poile.

Neal ready to get first game vs. Penguins since trade ‘over with’

Chicago Blackhawks v Nashville Predators

It’s going to be weird, so they might as well get this over with.

That’s the feeling Nashville Predators forward James Neal expressed when discussing his first game against the Pittsburgh Penguins since that blockbuster trade involving Patric Hornqvist and Nick Spaling.

Much has been made of Neal (not to mention former partner-in-crime Evgeni Malkin) not seeing that swap coming, yet both Neal and Hornqvist are fitting in seamlessly in new locales.

Neal, 27, took a bit to get things together, but he’s red-hot for the Predators. His hat trick powered a 3-2 win against the Chicago Blackhawks on Thursday and all five of his 2014-15 tallies have come in the last four games. The narrative seems to be changing from Neal supposedly being difficult in the Pittsburgh locker room to his slapstick-sweet friendship with Rich Clune.

Hornqvist, also 27, hasn’t scored a point in his last two games, yet he still has eight points and an absolutely ridiculous 34 shots on goal in six games so far.

Time will tell how this trade looks over the long haul – spend a little time on Twitter and you’ll probably already hear some hasty proclamations – but so far, both players are benefiting their new squads.

They might just take advantage of their familiarity tonight, too. Hornqvist played all six of his previous seasons with Nashville after being “Mr. Irrelevant” (230th overall) in the 2005 NHL Draft. While Hornqvist knows the lay of the land at his old home – could we see him go to the wrong penalty box like David Legwand did in Nashville? – it sounds like Neal might take advantage of his experience shooting on Marc-Andre Fleury tonight:

Many eyes will be on those prominently traded forwards, yet we could learn a lot about their new and old teams tonight, too.

Clune ‘reached out’ to Wey after KO


Following a vicious knockout of Washington’s Patrick Wey during Sunday’s 4-3 shootout win, Preds tough guy Rich Clune discussed the series of events that led to the fight — and the aftermath.

“I reached out to the kid on Washington just to express the fact that I hope he’s OK and it wasn’t my intention to hurt him,” said Clune, per the Tennessean. “He was the one kind of engaging me, and I had no idea who he was. I don’t even look at the other team’s roster before the game.

“I just see the names they write on the board. The kid said he was OK.”

Here’s the fight:

Clune’s response came after Washington voiced displeasure with how the scrap went down. Head coach Adam Oates and forward Troy Brouwer both remarked that Clune shouldn’t have gone after a fighter as inexperienced as Wey — he had one prior career tilt, back in his junior days — and Tom Wilson was upset Clune didn’t engage him in a subsequent fight.

Clune said he didn’t want to fight Wilson because the Preds had a lead and he didn’t want to risk taking a penalty, but understands why Wilson, Oates and Brouwer reacted they way they did.

“I can understand the Washington organization and the Washington fans being mad, but there’s not much more I can say other than we’ll see each other at another date,” Clune said. “Patrick is going to bounce back.”