The Marlies announced on Thursday that the team has re-signed veteran forward Rich Clune to a one-year AHL contract. Clune first joined the organization for the 2015-2016 season and has suited up in 164 games for the Marlies over the last five seasons, racking up 18 goals and 25 assists.

Clune’s value to the organization has stretched far beyond his contributions on the ice, serving as a mentor of sorts for many of Toronto’s young prospects as they come through the AHL system. Kyle Dubas and his staff have shown again and again that they value what Clune brings to the organization despite the fact that he has played just 31 games in the last two seasons.

Dubas’ longstanding relationship with Clune and affinity for what he provides his team in a mentorship role should be all the proof that even his biggest detractors need to see that Dubas appreciates the nuances of teambuilding and understands the importance of having character and leadership in the room.

Whenever Rich Clune decides to hang up his skates for good, it should come as no surprise if there is a job waiting for him in Toronto’s player development or player personnel departments. Until then, he’ll continue to moonlight in that role as a member of the Marlies roster.


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