Marlies captain Rich Clune retires, joins Maple Leafs front office

Rich Clune, the Marlies captain who played 16 seasons of pro hockey, and travelled down some uncharted roads off the ice, has retired, the AHL team announced Thursday.

Clune, 35, will join the Leafs’ player development staff.

Clune grew up in Toronto’s east end, and was drafted in the third round by the Dallas Stars in 2005. He went on to play 139 NHL games in parts of five seasons with Nashville, Los Angeles and the Maple Leafs.

Most of his career was spent in the AHL, including seven seasons with the Marlies, where he won the Calder Cup in 2018, and was named team captain in 2020.

Clune, whose brothers run a script writing company in Los Angeles, scored 25 goals and had 34 assists over 256 regular season games with the Marlies.

The long-time Marlie played a hard, gritty game, standing up for his teammates and mentoring them on and off the ice. His own experience included battles with substance abuse and mental health.

He shot a short feature in Toronto several years ago about the ravages of mental health and the importance of awareness. His personal story was the subject of documentary film called, “Hi, My Name is Dicky.”

“Rich is in a class of his own when reflecting on the impact he has made on the Toronto Marlies,” said Ryan Hardy, the Leafs assistant general manager of minor league operations.

“He is celebrated by all those…

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