Predators' Rich Clune details struggles with alcoholism

Tuesday July 8th, 2014

Nashville Predators forward Rich Clune has continued to open up about his struggles with alcoholism, detailing his struggles and journey in a 30-minute clip on the self-publishing radio app Instaradio.

It's part of an opening-up process that began for Clune last year when he publicly revealed for the first time that he was a recovering alcoholic.

Clune explained to Greg Wyshynski of Yahoo Sports why he decided to come forward with his story:

“I wanted to take the power out of everyone’s hands that were wondering, with rumors and Internet stuff. Just say ‘this is what happened, this is what I’ve done about it’ and take the power back,” he said. But there was also the chance to become a role model for others – even if Clune never thought he’d earn the label. “If you had told me five years ago that I’d be anyone’s role model, I’d think you were smoking crack yourself,” he said.

Clune's problems with alcohol kept him from appearing on the ice for the Los Angeles Kings, including during the team's run to the Stanley Cup championship in 2011-12. 

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After several seasons playing for the Manchester Monarchs, the Kings' AHL affiliate, Clune was claimed on waivers by the Predators early in 2013. He's found a role with Nashville and become more comfortable with his addiction.

More from Clune, via Yahoo:

Rich Clune of the Nashville Predators has a simple message he wants to convey to fans, players and everyone involved in the sport of hockey: “I don’t drink. I don’t do drugs. And my life is amazing.”

—Ben Estes

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