To properly set the stage for our conversation with Nashville Predators forward Rich Clune, some people may need a quick refresher on what’s gone down recently. In a nutshell, former NHL defenseman Garry Galley went on Hockey Night in Canada radio and listed a group of eight players – whom he called ‘the Crazy Eights.’ These were guys he felt the NHL should come down hard on and were, in his opinion, the nucleus of the most dangerous players in the league.
Also included in the pack of eight was Kings captain Dustin Brown.
You can hear Galley’s full comments from HNIC radio here.
That wasn’t enough though.
Soon thereafter, we invited him onto West Coast Bias, our show on NHL Network Radio, to further discuss the list and his opinions. Like most defensemen who played 1,100-plus games in the NHL, Galley didn’t back down. In fact, he again called Brown a ‘predator’ and somebody the league should look into. If you missed that episode, click here to listen. It’s well worth your time.
Since then, we’ve been canvasing various NHL players for their opinions on the topic. Jarret Stoll shared his thoughts here.
Now, with Clune and the Predators in town this weekend, it seemed like the perfect opportunity to catch up with one of Brown’s former teammates. Let’s see how he views the Kings captain from the other locker room.
Here’s what Clune had to share during an exclusive chat with MayorsManor…
On Garry Galley calling Dustin Brown a predator:
“No, Dustin Brown is a rugged guy. If I’m that guy’s producer, I would really question his knowledge of the players. I think there’s a couple of guys on that list, should they be thrown out of the league? No. He’s named guys who are all playing over 10 minutes a night, pretty much. Other than maybe [Zac] Rinaldo. So, I would fire [Galley] on the spot. Dustin Brown won the Kings a Cup. He was the captain of a Stanley Cup Champion team, where he had an unbelievable playoff run. Yeah, he’s caught guys in vulnerable positions, but that’s the way Brownie plays. He’s the kind of guy – he hit me last year and he said ‘sorry’ after, because he kind of hit me too hard. You know what I mean? He’s not a predator, whatsoever. He’s a good dude.”
On how often players apologize for hard hits:
“I think it was just one of those things where I knew Brownie from my time here in LA. He’s always been a really nice guy. He was the captain of the team for the 15 minutes I played here. Has Garry Galley ever captained a Stanley Cup Championship team? He should get his facts straight. That’s the most asinine comment I’ve probably ever heard. Throw Dustin Brown out of the NHL? The men with the checks need to reevaluate who they have commentating. That’s the dumbest comment I’ve ever heard.”
On people saying that hits are becoming more dangerous than fights:
“It’s the evolution of the medical field. This is nothing new, guys were getting these injuries when the game started. One hundred years ago, guys were getting hit in the head, they didn’t know they had a concussion. It’s the doctors now, the doctors are starting to figure out what’s going on. It’s not like the game has changed, guys have been running each other over since the game started. To say that the hits are more detrimental now than the fights, I mean…I don’t know. Yeah, when a guy gets his head taken off with a shoulder to the head, yeah that’s not good. But. I think everyone needs to relax, you know what I mean? That’s what makes our game our game. We’re not playing soccer, we are playing hockey.”
On the Flyers and Capitals line brawl last night being called a “disgrace to the game’:
“That’s primal instinct. That’s a group of guys that are getting beat 7-0, they’re pissed off, their record isn’t great. The organization is probably a little frustrated. Philadelphia is one of the most respected franchises in hockey history. It’s not a disgrace to the game. Our game is rough, our game is not played by nice guys. Yeah, there is sportsmanship and everyone has respect, but when you get down 7-0, that’s what makes us hockey players. They’re not going to sit there and be like, ‘Oh, you can just run seven goals up on us.’ No, we’re going to come out and w’ere going to get back in your face, and there were a couple of fights. Do I agree with Emery skating down the ice and laying a beating on the other goalie? I mean, the guy didn’t really look like he wanted to fight. It’s happened before, it’s not the first time goalies have teed off on each other. Ron Hextall and Felix Potvin had one of the best fights ever. There have been tons of goalie fights. Yeah, it was a little bit shady that Emery went and took on a guy that… would [people in LA] want to see, somebody like Clifford or Carcillo or Nolan, grab Paul Kariya and lay a beating on him. [MM: Actually, some might want to see that, yes.] Henrik Sedin then. There would be an uproar. But it’s two goalies, and no one is really familiar with goalie fighting. It was a shady move by Emery to continue to fight and wail on the guy. But that being said, you go on the ice, you don’t know what’s going to happen. I don’t know whats going to happen, that’s what you risk. You get paid so much money, you can’t be like, ‘Oh, let’s all play nice.’ It’s hockey. You risk being beat up every time you step on the ice. So, was it a disgrace? I’m not going to say it was a disgrace. It was a fight. It was a shady move by Emery.”
On what fans might not know about Nashville:
“There is a huge country kind-of-attraction in Nashville, but there is a really underlying rock movement there. There is a really cool scene of live music that isn’t that kind of honkytonk country kind of front that everyone – that even I thought – stereo-typically. I think of Nashville, I think of cowboy boots and mechanical bulls and all that. But there’s really cool, hip crowd, that loves rock music. It’s a different town. There’s a lot of different aspects to it, you know? There’s some of the best restaurants in [North America]. There’s a restaurant, Rolf and Daughters, that’s unbelievable. I think it’s rated the number three restaurant in America. There’s just tons of little, cool restaurants that you wouldn’t even know that they’re restaurants, they just look like houses. It’s just a really different kind of town. No one gets too dressed up, everyone is kind of in jeans all the time, even at classier clubs and restaurants, everyone is kind of…there is that relaxed feeling about the town.”
Rich Clune. A true one-in-a-million.
Radio and TV personality Jim Rome like s to reference that people are better off for just spending five minutes with quarterback Tim Teebow. He may be right, don’t know. But, any time with Clune is a good time. He never disappoints.
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