This morning, the Nashville Predators grabbed former LA King\Manchester Monarch Richard Clune off of waivers. In case you’re unfamiliar with his work, the picture above details what would likely be a favorable contribution in the eyes of many Predator fans. Clune isn’t a flashy player, isn’t the biggest guy, the best fighter–but he can chirp, get under skin, and will skate his heart out. He’s not being brought in for offense, he’s not even being brought in for defense. His role, should he earn a job, will be to fill the agitator void left by Jordin Tootoo.
Near the end of Tootoo’s tenure in Nashville, he had all but abandoned that post in favor of a more offense-minded player. You may remember that “offense” as being wholly comprised of “skate past the end line, blindly throw pass to the front of the net, puck travels back to defensive zone.” If Clune can manage to shirk such illusions of playmaking grandeur, he could be a useful player. I wouldn’t expect him to be an every night kind of guy–instead, he’ll probably cycle through the lineup with Brian McGrattan and Chris Mueller, depending on the opponent–but he can serve a purpose not currently seen in the Predators’ lineup.
Worst case, he follows the path of Nick Tarnasky, Josh Gratton, Triston Grant, and Zach Stortini–and finds himself racking up bus miles between Milwaukee, Rockford and Chicago in short order.