Former Toronto Maple Leafs Player Eyeing Coaching Job

Syracuse Crunch v Toronto Marlies
Syracuse Crunch v Toronto Marlies / Graig Abel/GettyImages

On Thursday NHL Insider Elliotte Friedman reported that the former Toronto Maple Leafs forward Rich Clune was being considered for an assistant coach position with the Anaheim Ducks.

Clune was first signed by the Toronto Maple Leafs shortly into the 2015-16 season by former general manager Lou Lamoriello and he stuck with the organization for nearly a decade after continually signing AHL deals with the team to remain with the Toronto Marlies.

He would suit up for 19 games with the Maple Leafs that first season collecting four assists. Clune would spend seven seasons with the Marlies playing in 256 games collecting 25 goals. Known as a popular player in the dressing room, the Toronto native served as an alternate captain for his first five years with the club before being named the captain for both the 2020-21 and 2021-22 seasons.

Prior to his time in Toronto, Clune was a third round selection of the Dallas Stars in 2005 after collecting 34 points in 67 games and 103 PIMs in his draft season in the Ontario Hockey League. He would spend time in the ECHL and AHL for the Stars before being traded to the Los Angeles Kings in 2008.

Clune would make his NHL debut in 2009-10 when he skated in 14 games collecting two assists with the Kings, however he would have to wait a couple more years before his return. The former Sarnia Sting forward would sign with the Nashville Predators to be the teams enforcer and was a mainstay on the roster for two seasons where he played 105 games from 2012-13 to 2013-14, however after just spending all but one game in the AHL in 2014-15 he signed on in Toronto in 2015.

Former Toronto Maple Leafs Player Eyeing Coaching Job

Clune became better known when a documentary came out in 2020 about his battles with substance abuse. The film shows a charismatic and approachable person that displays his leadership capabilities, which makes it understandable how he served as one of the captains for seven years with the Marlies and moved into coaching when his playing career ended.

Following his second year as captain Clune would retire from his playing career, but remain on the player development side with the Toronto Maple Leafs.

This past season he was named as assistant coach along with Mike Dyck and Eric Wellwood working under head coach John Gruden.


Known for his leadership skills, the Anaheim Ducks could be landing one of the up and coming coaches that can help guide the inexperienced Ducks.