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The trade yesterday that got Canuck fans talking saw Shane O'Brien and Dan Gendur go to Nashville in exchange for Ryan Parent and Jonas Andersson. What this trade really was about was saving the Aquilini's some money. Since Parent still needs to clear waivers before he can be assigned to the Moose, there is no certainty that Parent will not be picked up off of waivers and become some other team's property. Shane O'Brien was supposed to make $1.6 million in the minors whereas Parent makes $925,000. So in the end result, regardless if Parent makes it through waivers, is that Parent saves the Canucks money on a player that will only play in the minors this year.

Parent was drafted in the first round in the 2005 entry draft by Nashville Predators, 18th overall. He was traded to the Flyers in 2007 along with Upshall and was traded back to Nashville this summer with a conditional draft pick for the rights to sign Dan Hamhuuis. Now both of them, Hamhuis and Parent (until something changes) are both Canucks. Life can be funny like that.

Shane O'Brien was traded to the Canucks from the Lightning in the beginning of the 2008-2009 season and in two short years he has been able to get the town talking about their bottom six defenceman on multiple occasions. Whether it was his allegations that he sounded off on to the media that the Canucks scratched him because he didn't fight enough, or the time showed up to practice late because he was out late the night before which was addressed by Vigneault in the media or the 14 pounds he put on during the Olympic break, Shane O'Brien has certainly made a name for himself in Vancouver. We may not remember his name in a few years, but it was certainly amusing while he was here.

Sometimes you have players on your team that have so much 'potential' to be good. Like they have the physical disposition and the opportunity to be great, but they don't seem to be able to ever play as well as you think they should. Taylor Pyatt was the player we had pre-O'Brien. It was frustrating to watch because you feel that the player just doesn't 'get it'. And eventually they move on to another team where they get a fresh start, but will yet again play mediocrily and yet again not live up to their potential.

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O'Brien would never be great, but I thought he had the potential to be a solid 5th or 6th defencemen. But he made mental mistakes many of which had me yelling at my tv about his incompetence. And the size he had, should have been able to lay out solid hits that would have made other teams to fear him, but that never came to fruition. He made hits yes, but not the big scary ones that would cause other players to fear him.

But unlike Pyatt, O'Brien had maturity issues. Even though I imagine he had ample warnings before that day he was late to practice, he didn't seem to be able to get his partying under control. As a professional athlete who is by no means a great player, I should expect that you would have your sh-t under control. Pyatt had his sh-t under control. I would think that as a professional athlete you'd want to do work to make yourself a better player. Like if you know you gain weight easily, you don't overindulge, party and gain 14 pounds in two weeks just because you are on an Olympic break. You could do that during summer if you so wished, but to make a conscious decision to not care for two weeks when you are not on summer break is just insulting to the team you play for and the players you play with.

So now O'Brien blasts Vigneault for not giving him a fair shot or throwing him under the bus.

"A lot of organizations and teams would have protected their player. There were other situations where (Vancouver) handled it differently," O'Brien said. "I felt the coaching staff just threw me to the wolves by going to the press, burying me. They made things worse than they could have been if things were kept behind closed doors. It's just the way it was going to be."

"When you come to an organization and the first thing the coach says to you is 'I don't know anything about you' you are starting behind the eight ball with that guy already," O'Brien said.

"I never had a chance with him. When I got here, he had his guys. He had Ollie, Willie, Juice and they had just signed Edler to a big deal. So it just seemed that no matter what I did, I was just going to stay in the same situation I was in." -The Province

 


Now some of what he's saying is probably true as Vigneault seemed to love to have O'Brien in his doghouse. There's no doubting that Vigneault has a certain distaste for certain players and a sometime confounding love for other ones. But at the same time, you gotta just make the most of your situation and act professionally.

In his parting words to the media, O'Brien gives off a sense of entitlement in the words he spoke that with his skill level, I don't think he should have. I'm not saying that it's wrong to speak your mind, in fact I'm all for players showing a little personality to the media or in social media but based on his history O'Brien should be a humble b-tch. I'm not gonna judge you if I don't agree with everything you say but I find it refreshing that something interesting is said rather than always having to hear the generic answers that players. But what O'Brien did here was play his cards wrong.

Life is sometimes as much as about social politics and image as it is about doing a good job. O'Brien didn't seem to be able to grasp that. Maybe he didn't have good people behind him to tell him to keep his sh-t together. Sounding off on your coach may feel good now, but how does that affect you in the long term the next time a team is considering signing you? You can always talk behind the scenes, but publicly doing it? Though in this case, it seems like a fitting end to his two year term here.

If you want to read another take on the end of O'Brien, read Iain MacIntyre's take on the Vancouver Sun.