Shane O'Brien (ice hockey)

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Shane O'Brien
Shane Obrien 20130914.png
O'Brien with the Calgary Flames
Born (1983-08-09) August 9, 1983 (age 35)
Port Hope, Ontario, Canada
Height 6 ft 3 in (191 cm)
Weight 230 lb (100 kg; 16 st 6 lb)
Position Defence
Shoots Left
Former teams
Free Agent
Anaheim Ducks
Tampa Bay Lightning
Vancouver Canucks
Nashville Predators
Colorado Avalanche
Calgary Flames
Florida Panthers
EHC Black Wings Linz
NHL Draft 250th overall, 2003
Anaheim Ducks
Playing career 2003–present

Shane O'Brien (born August 9, 1983) is a Canadian professional ice hockey defenceman who is currently an unrestricted free agent. He has previously enjoyed a nine-year career in the National Hockey League (NHL).

Playing career

Anaheim Ducks and Tampa Bay Lightning

Playing major junior in the Ontario Hockey League (OHL), O'Brien was drafted by the Mighty Ducks of Anaheim in the 8th round, 250th overall, in the 2003 NHL Entry Draft. Before earning a full-time roster spot with Anaheim, he played with their minor league affiliates, the Cincinnati Mighty Ducks and Portland Pirates of the American Hockey League (AHL). O'Brien led all AHL defenceman in scoring during the 2006 Calder Cup playoffs with six goals and 22 points in 19 post-season games.[1] The Pirates had made it to the semi-finals where they were defeated in seven games by the Hershey Bears. In the off-season, he was re-signed by the Ducks to a one-year contract on August 3, 2006.[1]

O'Brien warming up while a member of the Anaheim Ducks during the 2006-07 NHL season

O'Brien made his NHL debut against the Los Angeles Kings on October 6, 2006. He scored his first NHL goal later that month against Dominik Hašek in a 4–1 win over the Detroit Red Wings on October 18.[2] He completed the night with a Gordie Howe hat trick by getting an assist and a fight against Brad Norton.[2] On November 8, he scored a goal and two assists against the Vancouver Canucks for a three-point night.[3]

At the trade deadline on February 24, 2007, O'Brien was dealt with a third-round draft pick in 2007 to the Tampa Bay Lightning for goaltender Gerald Coleman and a first-round draft pick in 2007.[4] He had established himself as a fighter during his rookie season. At the time of his trade, he was ranked fifth in the league in fights with 12.[5] Making the transition to Tampa Bay, however, his role as an enforcer was diminished as the club was less prone to fight than the Ducks had been.[5] He made his NHL playoff debut with the Lightning on April 12, meeting the New Jersey Devils in the first round.

After finishing his rookie season with a combined total of two goals and 16 points in the regular season between Anaheim and Tampa Bay, he was re-signed by the Lightning in the off-season.[6] At $2 million over two years, the contract saw O'Brien make $875,000 the first year and $1.125 million in 2008–09 – a raise from his $495,000 salary of the previous season.[7] He would improve to four goals and 21 points in the subsequent season.

Vancouver Canucks

On October 6, 2008, O'Brien was traded with forward Michel Ouellet to the Vancouver Canucks for defenceman Lukáš Krajíček and prospect Juraj Šimek.[8] During his first year in Vancouver, O'Brien received a minor fine of $2,500 on January 29, 2009, after taking part in a post-game altercation with Ryane Clowe and Joe Pavelski of the San Jose Sharks nine days earlier on January 20. Pavelski allegedly speared Canucks forward Daniel Sedin at the end of the game, a 2–1 overtime loss, leading O'Brien and teammate Willie Mitchell to intervene.[9]

O'Brien fighting Kyle Chipchura of the Anaheim Ducks in December 2009.

Soon thereafter, O'Brien garnered significant media attention when, after being unexpectedly made a healthy scratch, he claimed that general manager Mike Gillis implied in a one-on-one meeting that he is only interested in him fighting. O'Brien went on to speculate to the media whether Vancouver was the right fit for him.[10] After another meeting with Gillis the next day, O'Brien apologized through the media for what he described as "selfish" comments borne of frustration, and that he misunderstood Gillis in their initial meeting.[11]

In the subsequent 2009 playoffs, O'Brien scored his first goal as a Canuck against the Chicago Blackhawks in game six of the second round. The goal tied the score at 3–3 in the second period, although Chicago went on to eliminate the Canucks 7–5.[12]

Becoming a restricted free agent in the off-season, O'Brien re-signed with the Canucks to a one-year, $1.6 million contract after turning down the arbitration process.[13] Following an altercation with the New York Rangers on November 3, 2009, O'Brien was suspended for one game by the NHL for poking Rangers forward Sean Avery from across the two teams' benches with his stick.[14] On December 20, 2009, O'Brien scored his first goal in 102 regular-season games in a 3–1 loss to the St. Louis Blues.[15]

Later in the season, on March 30, 2010, head coach Alain Vigneault announced that O'Brien would sit out the next three games for disciplinary reasons. According to the Team 1040, a local sports radio station, O'Brien showed up late for the previous Monday's practice. Besides the incident, however, Vigneault added there was more to the situation than O'Brien being late. O'Brien was not permitted to skate with the team until April 4.[16] He finished his second season in Vancouver with two goals and eight points over 65 games. In the 2010 playoffs, he added a goal and two assists in 12 games as the Canucks were eliminated by the Blackhawks in the second round. Following the Canucks' playoff elimination, he discussed his upcoming restricted free agency and commented on a desire to have more leeway with the coaches.[17] On October 2, 2010 the Vancouver Canucks placed O'Brien on waivers.[18]

Nashville Predators and Colorado Avalanche

Three days after being placed on waivers, O'Brien was traded to the Nashville Predators, along with Dan Gendur, for Ryan Parent and Jonas Andersson.[19] While in Nashville he tied a career high in games played (80) adding two goals and seven assists during the 2010–11 season. He played in the all of the Predators 12 playoff games but went unsigned by Nashville following the playoffs and became a free agent.

On July 13, 2011, he was signed to a one-year contract with the Colorado Avalanche.[20] Acquired to initially to provide depth insurance to the defense, O'Brien impressed out of training camp and made his Avalanche debut on the opening night of the 2011–12 season in a 3-0 defeat to the Detroit Red Wings.[21] With his experience, physicality and leadership he quickly became a fixture on the defense of a youthful Avalanche team and appeared in his 400th career game in a 4-1 loss to the San Jose Sharks on November 20.[22][23] With a more prominent role entrusted than given with former clubs, O'Brien matched a career high with 17 assists and finished with 20 points for his best statistical season since 2008. He also finished second amongst the Avalanche with 105 penalty minutes.

With the option of impending free agency again looming, O'Brien was re-signed by Colorado for $6 million over three years on June 26, 2012.[24] Affected by the lockout-shortened 2012–13 season, O'Brien was unable to emulate his previous year as he was relegated primarily as a depth defenseman to register only 4 assists in 28 games.

Calgary Flames and Florida Panthers

On June 27, 2013, O'Brien was traded by the Avalanche along with David Jones to the Calgary Flames in exchange for Alex Tanguay and Cory Sarich.[25] On January 25, 2014, O'Brien was placed on waivers by the Flames.[26] Unclaimed, O'Brien was assigned to affiliate, the Abbotsford Heat, marking a return to the AHL for the first time since 2006. On June 30, 2014, O'Brien was placed on unconditional waivers for purposes of a compliance buyout.[27]

As a free agent O'Brien failed to attract significant interest and, on September 2, 2014, he accepted a professional try-out contract to the Florida Panthers training camp.[28] On October 6, 2014, O'Brien was successful in earning a one-year, two-way contract with the Panthers.[29]

Return to Anaheim and Abroad

On July 16, 2015, O'Brien signed as a free agent to a one-year, two-way contract in a return his original NHL club, the Anaheim Ducks.[30] Unable to make the Ducks roster out of training camp, O'Brien added a veteran presence to AHL affiliate, the San Diego Gulls, for the duration of the 2015–16 season, posting 1 goal and 17 points in 57 games.

With his NHL opportunities exhausted, O'Brien remained a free agent over the summer and into the 2016–17 season. On January 10, 2017, O'Brien opted to sign his first contract abroad, agreeing to an initial two-week contract that would extend for the remainder of the season with Finnish club, HPK of the Liiga.[31]

Midway into the following 2017–18 season, O'Brien was signed to strengthen the blueline of Austrian club, EHC Black Wings Linz of the EBEL, on November 9, 2017.[32]

Personal life

O'Brien was born in Port Hope, Ontario, and comes from a lineage of hockey players. His father, Pat O'Brien, played junior in Canada, while his uncle, Dennis O'Brien, had a 10-year career in the NHL, mostly with the Minnesota North Stars.[33]

Career statistics

Regular season Playoffs
Season Team League GP G A Pts PIM GP G A Pts PIM
1999–00 Port Hope Buzzards OPJHL 47 6 27 33 110
2000–01 Kingston Frontenacs OHL 61 2 12 14 89 4 0 1 1 6
2001–02 Kingston Frontenacs OHL 67 10 23 33 132 1 0 0 0 2
2002–03 Kingston Frontenacs OHL 28 8 15 23 90
2002–03 Toronto St. Michael's Majors OHL 34 8 11 19 108 19 4 10 14 79
2003–04 Cincinnati Mighty Ducks AHL 60 2 8 10 163 9 0 2 2 30
2004–05 Cincinnati Mighty Ducks AHL 77 5 20 25 319 12 1 3 4 57
2005–06 Portland Pirates AHL 77 8 33 41 287 19 6 16 22 81
2006–07 Anaheim Ducks NHL 62 2 12 14 140
2006–07 Tampa Bay Lightning NHL 18 0 2 2 36 6 0 0 0 12
2007–08 Tampa Bay Lightning NHL 77 4 17 21 154
2008–09 Tampa Bay Lightning NHL 1 0 0 0 0
2008–09 Vancouver Canucks NHL 76 0 10 10 196 10 1 1 2 24
2009–10 Vancouver Canucks NHL 65 2 6 8 79 12 1 2 3 25
2010–11 Nashville Predators NHL 80 2 7 9 83 12 0 0 0 18
2011–12 Colorado Avalanche NHL 76 3 17 20 105
2012–13 Colorado Avalanche NHL 28 0 4 4 60
2013–14 Calgary Flames NHL 45 0 3 3 58
2013–14 Abbotsford Heat AHL 31 3 5 8 58 4 1 0 1 18
2014–15 San Antonio Rampage AHL 51 11 19 30 127 2 0 1 1 17
2014–15 Florida Panthers NHL 9 0 1 1 5
2015–16 San Diego Gulls AHL 57 1 16 17 81
2016–17 HPK Liiga 18 1 3 4 14 7 0 1 1 4
2017–18 EHC Black Wings Linz EBEL 34 0 8 8 44 12 2 4 6 16
NHL totals 537 13 79 92 916 40 2 3 5 79



  1. ^ a b Associated Press (2006-08-03). "O'Brien re-signs with Ducks". The Globe and Mail. Retrieved 2010-05-12.
  2. ^ a b "Ducks 4, Red Wings 1". USA Today. 2006-04-18. Retrieved 2008-10-06.
  3. ^ "Ducks remain unbeaten in regulation". Sporting News. 2006-11-09. Retrieved 2008-10-06. [permanent dead link]
  4. ^ Allen, Kevin (2007-02-25). "Blues trade Tkachuk to Thrashers". USA Today. Retrieved 2008-10-06.
  5. ^ a b Damian Cristodero (2007-03-29). "O'Brien has new outlook since trade". St. Petersburg Times. Retrieved 2010-05-12. [dead link]
  6. ^ "Lightning re-sign defenceman O'Brien". Canadian Broadcasting Company. 2007-06-21. Retrieved 2008-10-06.
  7. ^ Damian Cristodero (2007-07-22). "Lightning, O'Brien agree to deal". St. Petersburg Times. Retrieved 2010-05-12.
  8. ^ Vancouver Canucks. "Canucks acquire Shane O'Brien and Michel Ouellet". Vancouver Canucks. Archived from the original on October 8, 2008. Retrieved October 6, 2008.
  9. ^ "O'Brien fined for riding to the rescue but vows he'd do it again". The Province. January 29, 2009. Archived from the original on March 14, 2012. Retrieved February 5, 2009.
  10. ^ "O'Brien not happy with Canucks brass". The Province. February 3, 2009. Archived from the original on February 16, 2009. Retrieved February 5, 2009.
  11. ^ "Feisty O'Brien backtracks and apologizes to teammates". 2009-02-04. Retrieved 2009-02-05. [permanent dead link]
  12. ^ "Kane's hat trick powers Blackhawks to first conference finals since '95". ESPN. 2009-07-08. Retrieved 2009-07-08.
  13. ^ "Canucks sign O'Brien and Raycroft". Canwest News Services. 2009-07-07. Retrieved 2009-07-08. [permanent dead link]
  14. ^ "O'Brien and Byers handed one-game suspensions". The Sports Network. 2009-11-04. Retrieved 2009-11-04.
  15. ^ "Canucks denied by inspired Blues". Canadian Broadcasting Corporation. 2009-12-21. Retrieved 2010-01-30.
  16. ^ "Canucks' O'Brien to miss games, practice after being late". The Sports Network. 2010-03-30. Retrieved 2010-03-31.
  17. ^ Elliott Papp (May 14, 2010). "O'Brien wants a contract, more leeway next season". Vancouver Sun. Archived from the original on May 17, 2010. Retrieved May 22, 2010.
  18. ^ "Canucks place Hordichuk, O'Brien on waivers". 2010-10-02. Retrieved 2010-10-02.
  19. ^ "Canucks acquire Ryan Parent and Jonas Andersson". Vancouver Canucks. 2010-10-05. Retrieved 2010-10-05.
  20. ^ "Avalanche Signs O'Brien". Colorado Avalanche. 2011-07-13. Retrieved 2011-07-13.
  21. ^ "Ty Conklin stops 29 as Red Wings blank Avs". CBS Sports. 2011-10-08. Retrieved 2011-10-08.
  22. ^ Chambers, Mike (2012-01-21). "Avs defenseman Shane O'Brien collides with beauty". Denver Post. Retrieved 2012-10-04.
  23. ^ "Marleau (Hat Trick), Sharks subdue Avs". CBS Sports. 2011-11-20. Retrieved 2011-11-20.
  24. ^ "Shane O'Brien re-signed by Colorado Avalanche to three-year deal". Denver Post. 2012-06-26. Retrieved 2012-06-26.
  25. ^ "Flames get younger and bigger in with trade with Avalanche". Calgary Herald. 2013-06-27. Retrieved 2013-06-27.
  26. ^ "Flames place O'Brien on waivers". The Sports Network. 2014-01-25. Retrieved 2014-01-25.
  27. ^ "Blueliners Gleason, O'Brien and Volchenkov put on waivers". The Sports Network. 2014-06-29. Retrieved 2014-06-29.
  28. ^ "Panthers invited veteran D-man Shane O'Brien on try-out basis". Sun-Sentinel. 2014-09-02. Retrieved 2014-09-02.
  29. ^ "Panthers sign defenseman Shane O'Brien". National Hockey League. 2014-10-06. Retrieved 2014-10-06.
  30. ^ "Ducks sign defenseman O'Brien to one-year contract". Anaheim Ducks. 2015-07-16. Retrieved 2015-07-16.
  31. ^ "Shane O'Brien in the club rest of season" (in Finnish). HPK. 2017-01-10. Retrieved 2017-01-10.
  32. ^ "NHL defenseman for the Black Wings". EHC Black Wings Linz. 2017-11-09. Retrieved 2017-11-09.
  33. ^ Damian Cristodero (2007-02-27). "New defenceman says he'll protect his family". St. Petersburg Times. Retrieved 2010-05-12.

External links

  • Biographical information and career statistics from, or, or Legends of Hockey, or The Internet Hockey Database
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