Monday, February 02, 2009

O'Brien unhappy about benching and coaches' role for him

Just when I thought Demitra was the only doof to vocally rant about Vancouver management Shane O'Brien steps up to the plate. From the Vancouver Sun:

O’Brien said he was told in a one-on-one meeting last week with general manager Mike Gillis that the team needed him to fight more.

“I am a player,” O’Brien said. “I don’t want to be just considered a fighter.”

O’Brien has been replaced on the Vancouver defence by Rob Davison and on Monday he skated as an extra in practice alongside benched forward Mason Raymond.

“I am not happy with it,” O’Brien said. “I don’t want to take anything away from Davie (Davidson), because he can play. But I am at the point in my career where I think I need to play. If they don’t think I’m worth playing to see if I can develop, if they just want me to a fighter or whatever, maybe it’s not the right situation.”

O’Brien said he has not asked for a trade and has not communicated his concerns to Gillis or head coach Alain Vigneault.

“You don’t say much to the GM, he’s the boss,” O’Brien said. “Like I said, it was the first time he has said anything to me all season. It’s like any profession, sometimes you don’t want to hear what the boss has to say, but at least I know what he’s thinking.”

O’Brien said he has never been reluctant to drop the gloves, but repeated that he doesn’t want to be labelled as just a fighter.

“I’m not going to lie to you guys,” O’Brien said. “I am not going to sit here and say all the right things, like I’m just happy to be part of the team. I want to play, I want to improve as a player, I want to stay in the league as long as I can. You can’t do that from the press box.”
And that's not all. There's more.
Alain Vigneault is happy that O'Brien is unhappy. He hopes it will light a fire under the D-man. You can read more about that in the Sun as well.
I thought Rob Davison struggled quite a bit with the puck on Saturday night. It's time for O'Brien to step back in. We'll see if he can draw the line between physical and disciplined.
I don't think management just wants him to be a fighter. I think he's misunderstanding them a bit. However, if you look at O'Brien's career stats, he's been more of a goon than a scorer. I want to see him play super physical in his own zone and be reliable defensively. Guys like Ohlund, Salo, Bieksa, and Edler can do the scoring. If Shane-o-mac doesn't like that, he can hit the road. The team doesn't need whiners right now.

Mats Sundin was practicing on a line with Ryan Kesler and Pavol Demitra today. You know, that line may just work. Good to see Kesler get more of a scoring role.
I don't see any problem with Ryan Johnson moving up to the checking line role in Kesler's place.

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At February 2, 2009 at 5:08 p.m. , Anonymous Mike said...

Yeah, I was just thinking O'Brien wasn't getting enough PIMs. Though I suppose having him fight beats taking Mitchell or Bieksa off the ice.

At February 2, 2009 at 5:45 p.m. , Blogger Sean Zandberg said...


Well, that O'Brien's "taking too many PIM's" issue earlier in the month was lame. So what if he led the Canucks in penalties? Anyone remember the fighting majors he had earlier in the year? Jeezuz.

At February 2, 2009 at 7:33 p.m. , Anonymous Chris said...

I don't what to say about O'Brien popping off, so I'll talk about the lines.

I agree having Kes in a role where scoring is the raison d'etre is a good thing, and feel that Johnson can easily fill in as a third line shutdown centre, but how long do you think AV will stick with it? He's trumped up his duos so often now, that Kes seems to be the odd man out and should the line not produce, will likely have Kes back with Burr.

I'm no coach, never played the sport, and have no means to qualify what I think, but why not pick some lines and stick with 'em for a bit? What harm will that do? It's not like the current system is busting out the wins.. =)

At February 2, 2009 at 8:01 p.m. , Blogger Sean Zandberg said...

If it doesn't pay quick dividends, AV will change it up for sure. But he is running out of line options for Sundin though.

At February 2, 2009 at 9:29 p.m. , Anonymous GZ Expat said...

There are some deep, deep issues in the locker room when you have guys sort of consistently bitching to the press. Viggy has lost it and no matter how much tinkering he does with line combo's...he's lost it. The room is no longer his and it is adrift.

Sundin might be OK with the Moose...

At February 3, 2009 at 10:09 a.m. , Blogger Sean Zandberg said...

It is beginning to look that way. Yet, I think O'Brien's on the trading block. I don't think all the guys dislike AV.

Should be cool to see Sundin playing against an Eastern team. Actually it would be cool to see Sundin do anything. Just give us something, Mats!

At April 2, 2011 at 5:03 a.m. , Anonymous MLB Standings said...

O'brien is always like that....


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Waiting For Stanley was created in June 2006.