Kyle Dubas hires former NHL and AHL enforcer

The Leafs' front office staff just beefed up!

HockeyFeed

Longtime Toronto Marlies (AHL) forward Rich Clune has officially announced his retirement from professional hockey at 35 years old.

Additionally, Clune has been hired as a player development executive by the Toronto Maple Leafs.

“Rich is in a class of his own when reflecting on the impact he has made on the Toronto Marlies,” said Ryan Hardy, Maple Leafs Assistant General Manager, Minor League Operations in a prepared statement. “He is celebrated by all those who played and worked with him for the professionalism he exhibited day in and day out, the contagious energy that extended from the gym to the ice and the compassion he demonstrated for his teammates and all members of this club. We’re thrilled to have him join the player development staff and to continue delivering his invaluable support and guidance within our organization.”

In total, Clune played 139 regular NHL games with the Maple Leafs, Nashville Predators and Los Angeles Kings while skating in 593 regular season AHL games with the Marlies, Milwaukee Admirals, Manchester Monarchs and Iowa Stars. Clune was originally selected by Dallas in the third round (71st overall) of the 2005 NHL Draft.

Clune was named the Marlies' captain at the beginning of the 2020-21 season and was an assistant captain for the previous five seasons.

If you're unfamiliar with Clune and his NHL history, he was a hard nosed checking forward who was willing to drop the gloves with anyone at any time. At just 5 foot, 10 inches and 200 pounds, he wasn't a true NHL heavyweight, but he took on all comers. In other words: He was a battler and that's exactly the kind of character that the Leafs need in their front office. Great hire, in my opinion.