O’Brien is done in Vancouver

October 6, 2010

Shane O'Brien is now going to have to revive his career around in Nashville

Earlier today the Vancouver Canucks made a deal with the Nashville Predators, shipping Shane O’Brien and Dan Gendur to Nashville in exchange for Ryan Parent and Jonas Andersson.

Shane O’Brien, the big piece in the deal, spent the last two years with the Canucks putting up 2 goals, 18 points, and 275 PIM’s in just 141 games.

Shane O’Brien had been on thin ice in Vancouver for the past few years. I don’t think Shane ever got out of Alain Vigneault’s doghouse. Last season, O’Brien actually got suspended three games by Alain for showing up after the Olympic break out of shape, gained weight, and showed up late to a practice. Alain had constantly been harping on OB to fight more, openly in the media. Also O’Brien has been seen multiple times in Vancouver partying it up with locals. Not the image the Canucks really want. To top it all off Shane got into a heated discussion with assistant coach Ryan Walter in between whistle on the bench. All Canuck fans new the OB would get traded from the Canucks, it was where.

Despite all the problems, O’Brien was mainly moved because the Canucks were tight for a buck and needed cap room. Shane was waived October 2nd by the Canucks, along with Darcy Hordichuk, because of cap problems. O’Brien is set to make 1.6 million this year, in the last season of his contract.

Ryan Parent was the defenseman heading the other way in the deal. Parent is just 23 and has already spent 102 games in the NHL. He has got 1 goal, 7 points, and 36 PIM’s in his short NHL career. Parent was drafted by the Philadelphia Flyers 18th overall in 2005. Parent has won 2 gold medals at the WJC  with Canada in both 2005 and 2006. In 2005 at the WJC, Parent played with Luc Bourdon (2005 Canuck draft pick) and it was in Vancouver, so Canuck fans have seen this guy play, but not knowing he would be a Canuck one day.

Parent has a nice upside to his game and is still just a kid. Ryan is a smooth and steady defenceman who isn’t afraid to get physical. He is a solid penalty killer and great in his own end. Ryan still needs to fill out his big frame and learn to shut down NHL forwards.

It was an ironic story this offseason for Parent. He started off with the Flyers, and then was moved to Nashville in exchange for the rights for Dan Hamhuis. Hamhuis was later traded again to Pittsburgh, but signed as a free agent with the Vancouver Canucks. Ryan Parent, the guy who was traded for Hamhuis, ended up on the same team as Dan Hamhuis.

The add-ons in the deal were Dan Gendur and Jonas Andersson. Gendur, who was shipped off to Nashville, is 23 years old and has spent most of his time in the ECHL, struggling to make in the AHL. Andersson was originally drafted by 33rd overall by the Predators in 1999. Andersson has spent most of his time in Europe, but has played 5 games in the NHL back in 2001-2002 season.

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Petersen NHL Preview – Nashville Predators

September 19, 2010

Will the Preds lock up pending 2011 UFA Shea Weber this year, or is this his last year in Nashville?

For a team that wasn’t really supposed to make the playoffs last year, the Nashville Predators surpassed much ‘expert’ perditions and had a nice season. Nashville fought through poor attendance (26th in the league for average attendance) and made the playoffs despite of having minimum salary cap floor. Solid goaltending, great defence, and smart coaching, the Predators feasted on the un-expecting teams. Patric Hornqvist has an excellent break-out season, putting up 30 goals and 21 assists in 80 games. Unfortunately for the Preds, they had to face the best playoff team in the first round, the Chicago Blackhawks. Head coach, Barry Trotz still thinks the Predators could have defeated Chicago in the first round and is holding the grudge against the ‘Hawks.

Last Season: 47-29-6, 100 points, 7th in the Western Conference

Incoming: M. Lombardi, S. Kostitsyn, R. Parent, M. Halischuk, J.Andersson

Outgoing: J. Arnott, D. Hamhuis, D. Ellis, D. Boyd

Reason For Hope: The Predators are known in the league for having a home-grown talent on the blue line and in net. This year Nashville lost Dan Hamhuis to a trade with the Flyers before the draft, but not to worry Pred fans (for those few of you out there), there is more talented kids on the way. The Predators got back Ryan Parent, a young talented blueliner for the rights to Hamhuis. Also in the system the Preds have WJC star, Ryan Ellis and ex-Vancouver Giant, Jonathen Blum who are both looking for NHL jobs come October. In net there is yet another future NHL starter in Chet Pickard, who had a minor speed bump in his first year in the pros. Nashville also lost another star this offseason, Jason Arnott, but was replaced by UFA Matthew Lombardi. The Predators are banking on Lombardi to fill Arnott’s void. Even with a weaker team, Barry Trotz and the Predators find a way to win hockey games and remain competitive in the West.

What Could Go Wrong? : With a team that is at the salary cap floor, the Predators are bound to have their struggles. Unable to keep Hampuis, Arnott, and Ellis due to cap reasons Nashville is going to have to rely on young rookies to step up and fill the positions left behind. I am finding it hard with this team that GM David Poile has built, to score goals. There is no way Hornqvist can continue to put up 30 goal seasons and Matthew Lombardi to step into Arnott’s job left behind. Lombardi has yet to crack the 20 goal barrier. The Preds have to hope that 2008 first rounder, Colin Wilson can play a full season wearing the Predators jersey and put up some decent numbers. Finally here is a scary thought. Team captain and star, Shea Weber is in the last season of his contract and set to become a UFA. With the ownership problems and lack of money in Nashville, this could be Weber’s last season in the state of Tennessee.

Prediction: 9th-11th in the Western Conference