May 2, 2010 3:17 pm

Player evaluation: Clune

RICH CLUNE Clune mug
This season: 14 games, 0 goals, 2 assists, 26 penalty minutes, 7:17 average ice time.
The good: When Clune is playing his game, he’s skating well and agitating opponents, drawing minor penalties without taking a lot of them. For the most part, he succeeded during his 14-game trial run this season. Clune isn’t a “heavyweight,” but he’s also not afraid to mix it up. He’s also quite a character in the locker room, a feisty guy but one who is considered to be a good teammate.
The bad: Clune is constantly walking that line between being an agitator and being a distraction to his own team. The Kings got fined in the playoffs because of Clune’s antics in pregame warmups, but if he’s not doing that sort of thing, is he really playing his game to the best of his ability? It’s tough to say. Again, Clune also needs to be constantly mindful of not taking more penalties than he draws.
Going forward: Brandon Segal got waived in part because the Kings felt Clune was ready for the NHL. He has a recent history of injuries, but he’s also one of the toughest players on the team. Unless a player comes out of nowhere to earn a roster spot — Kyle Clifford, perhaps? — it’s hard to see how Clune won’t have a roster spot next season in that “agitator” role.

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