Fans flocking to Bridgestone Arena this week will see the Nashville Predators take on three former playoff foes. What they likely will not see is Rich Clune dropping the gloves.
Starting tonight against San Jose, Clune will be forced to wear a jaw protector shield for “the next few games,” according to the agitator himself.
“It’s annoying,” Clune said of the protector. “The training staff asked me to wear it a couple games ago and I refused.”
He suffered the injury last Thursday in a game against Los Angeles, in what Clune describes as a “cheap shot” from Kings forward Mike Richards behind the play. Clune got many stitches at the bottom of the inside of his lip, from one cheek to the other. He said it’s a constant pain but that he will continue to play, only that he will be restricted from fighting.
Clune did engage in a fight Sunday night after suffering that injury Thursday, as he dropped the gloves with Andrew Shaw of Chicago. But Clune said he re-aggravated his jaw later in the game when he took a hit in the corner.
“It’s gotten to a point where if I don’t wear it (the protector) for a little bit here I could be missing some games if it gets re-injured,” said Clune, who went on to mention that if the stitches come undone again it may be difficult to re-stitch it back up.
There’s a reason why hockey players are the toughest in all of sport, and Clune is a prime example.