You should know we didn’t discover Rich Clune when James Neal got traded to the Predators. Any NHL player who is sassy on Twitter piques our interest pretty early. But standing next to – or taking in – one of our favorites certainly brings the light.
Even Puck Daddy has a piece about Neal & Clune today – “James Neal in Nashville: Happy, dumb and dumber.” In a good way, of course. Remember “Dumb and Dumber” once referred to Neal and Malkin, but this is a different level.
And this gem of an outtake from yesterday’s post: Beneath the Ice.
Clune was drafted in the third round in 2005 (71st overall), but didn’t make his NHL debut until 2009-’10, when he played just 14 games for the Kings. He wouldn’t see NHL ice again until 2012, after he was waived by the Kings post-lockout and picked up by the Predators.
During that time, and for a long time leading up to it, Clune battled alcoholism. He spoke about it with ESPN in March 2013. Reading the story, Rich sounds like a much older guy telling the story of a troubled youth. Perhaps that life-change is why he’s still in the League today.
It could also be why he’s so open. His secrets are out, he’s a 4th line guy, what are people going to say about him? He wants, both desperately and to the point of comedy, to stay and play. In July, Rich published a 30-minute online radio program about his recovery. He called it the “debut show,” but so far it’s the only one. Over the summer, Clune spoke to Puck Daddy about being a reluctant role model.
For a guy with such a serious side, Clune certainly rebounds with energy. When James Neal was traded to Nashville, he moved in with Clune – they were drafted the same year, by the same team. The budding bromance puts a lot of pressure on the Preds web content folks to deliver! (Cliff notes: Dude Perfect.)
Rich uses social media the way it should be used: often, if you’re funny. Contract negotiations? He has a few ideas.
Soccer? No thanks.
Don’t let the arms distract you from this outfit, a color and pattern combination worthy of Mr. Pants and thus my heart.
Rich plays the guitar (shirtless, of course), hosts taco night because he probably read online Neal can’t feed himself and did the ice bucket challenge in possibly the #2 outfit of all time (behind Toews’ Spanx). He has a lot of tattoos, since some of you are into that, and almost as many pictures of his feet in Summer Skates flip-flops.
Clune’s NHL career includes 120 games, 11 points and 305 PIMs. He has 32 regular season fights in just three regular seasons.
We love a good redemption story, and Rich Clune has survived with style and humor. He’s proven he can take care of himself – we appreciate him looking out for Nealer too. As for the Predators, atop their division and with a host of Foxy Fridays on their roster, well they are taking care of business.
(PS: Sorry I still can’t center photos!)Tags: nashville predators, rich clune