31-Year-Old Defenseman – Free Agent
Shane O'Brien Contract Information:
Became an unrestricted free agent in July 2014.
The Flames have placed O'Brien on unconditional waivers.
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RotoWire's Preseason Outlooks
There was no outlook written for Shane O'Brien.
O'Brien was part of the trade that sent Alex Tanguay and Cory Sarich to Colorado, although he was more of a throw-in as he was a healthy scratch on several occasions last season. He hopes to have a fresh start in Calgary, where he can recapture seasons like 2011-12 when he had 20 points and 105 PIM as an everyday player. The Flames could use his toughness on the back end, so he has a decent shot to grab one of the final defensive spots. He may provide fantasy value in the late rounds, but beware the plus-minus monster.
With 20 points in 76 games last year, O'Brien posted his highest output in four seasons. Furthermore, he enjoyed a top-four role for the Avs most nights, skating with Erik Johnson on the team's first defensive pairing, averaging 19+ minutes per night, well above the 17 minutes he averaged in 2010-11. In the past, O'Brien has tended to let his fists -- not his stick -- do most of the talking, but he is showing signs of developing into more of a complete player. He's worth a look if you're in a very deep fantasy format and need blue line help.
O'Brien, who have signed a one-year, $1.1 million contract with the Avs in July, had just two goals and seven assists in 80 games for the Predators last year. He will bring mainly size and toughness to the Avs' blue line this season, rather than scoring ability. He should not be on anyone's fantasy radar outside of ultra-deep leagues.
O'Brien had a forgetful 2009-10 campaign. The gritty blueliner was constantly in Canucks coach Alain Vigneualt's doghouse for being late to practice or lack of conditioning. As a result, O'Brien finished with just two goals, six assists and (most importantly for any goon) 79 penalty minutes in 65 games. The Canucks re-upped with O'Brien for one more season this summer, but he'll likely return in a depth role after the team retooled their blue line. Now that O'Brien isn't a shoe-in to finish among the league leaders in penalty minutes, there's little reason to consider him a fantasy option.
O'Brien provided grit for the Canucks last season, ranking second in the NHL with 196 penalty minutes. Outside of his stints in the sin bin, he failed to net any goals but did chip in 10 helpers. He's clinging to one of the final eight spots in the defensive rotation, but could be in danger of being a fringe player for the 2009-10 campaign. Even if he does manage to appear in 70+ games, O'Brien's fantasy value will be limited to his goon production.
O'Brien is a stud... in leagues that overcount PIMs. He's your man if you need a guy who'll deliver 150-200 PIMs with about 20 points. Otherwise, you can ignore him.
O'Brien is the sixth defenseman on the Ducks' roster to open the season. He's got some offensive ability (8-33-41) in the AHL last season, but his physical play tends to rack up the penalty minutes (287 PIM in 77 games).