Preds extend Rich Clune through 2015-16 season

Rich Clune (Sarah Fuqua)

If things ever get so bad that you feel like there’s no way to resurrect your life, take a long hard look at Nashville Predators forward Rich Clune.

The 26-year old Toronto, Ontario, native just signed an extension worth $1.7 million. The two-year deal starts after the upcoming season and will pay him $850,00 each year.

ESPN’s Scott Burnside wrote an incredible feature this past March about Clune’s history with addiction (and his recovery). Since then, he’s become a fan favorite in Music City and is one of the most outspoken personalities on the club. His “100% no lie” comment to radio analyst Stu Grimson after his penalty shot goal on March 12 in Dallas became a rallying cry, a Twitter hashtag and a frequent audio drop on flagship station 102.5 The Game.

Picked up off the waiver wire from the Los Angeles Kings during the abbreviated training camp, Clune had spent the last three years (and most of the past four) with the AHL’s Manchester Monarchs. Being given a shot at the NHL was something he wasn’t going to take for granted.

“It kind of exemplifies human nature of always wanting more,” he told us on The 303:30. “You get drafted and then you’re like “Alright, what’s next? I want more.’ That ego is never satisfied. But it also keeps you hungry, right? You get drafted and then the next step is to get a contract. And then the next step is to make the American League and then the NHL. And then, okay, you made the NHL, now play a second game. And when you play a second game, you want to play a season.”

Clune has not only played a season but just signed his first one-way NHL contract.

The official press release is below.

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Nashville, Tenn. (July 17, 2013) – Nashville Predators President of Hockey Operations/General Manager David Poile announced today that the club has signed forward Rich Clune to a two-year, $1.7 million contract that starts after the 2013-14 season. He will make $850,000 in both 2014-15 and 2015-16.

Clune, 26 (4/25/87), posted nine points (4g-5a) in 47 games while ranking fourth in the NHL in penalty minutes (113) in 2012-13, becoming the first Predator in four seasons to surpass the 100-minute mark. The Toronto native also ranked sixth in the League in hits (159) a season ago, as well as tying for second in major penalties (13). In 61 career NHL contests with Nashville and Los Angeles, the 5-9, 220-pound left wing has 11 points (4g-7a) and 139 penalty minutes.

Claimed on waivers by Nashville on Jan. 15, 2013, Clune was Dallas’ third selection, 71st overall (third round), in the 2005 Entry Draft. He amassed 180 points (76g-104a) and 452 penalty minutes in 253 Ontario Hockey League games with Barrie and Sarnia from 2003-07, and was the recipient of the 2005 Bobby Smith Trophy as the OHL’s scholastic player of the year. Clune has represented Canada in international competition on three occasions, winning gold at the 2004 Under-17 World Hockey Challenge and 2005 Junior World Cup, while earning silver at the 2005 U-18 World Championships.

PHOTO CREDIT: Sarah Fuqua (used with permission)