Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Preds acquire Shane O'Brien and some other dude for Parent and Andersson

According to official release from the Preds (find it here), Nashville has acquired 6'3, 225 pound tough guy Shane O'Brien, as well as ECHL winger Dan Gendur for defenseman Ryan Parent and forward Jonas Andersson.

Parent and Andersson both enjoyed only a brief tenure in Music City, and like many of you out there, I'm left scratching my head a bit on this one.  It's not so much that SOB was available on waivers yesterday, and could have been had for free.  I understand that from a dollars and cents perspective, Andersson + Parent and their one-way contracts > O'Brien's 1.6 million contract, which he has one year remaining on.  What I can't get my head around is why this trade was made.  In my own semi-qualified observations in both training camp and preseason play, Parent looked to be the type of observation that would be regarded in hindsight as another one of David Poile's legendary "steals."  Number 77 arguably outperformed both Klein and even the veteran Bouillon, and had many of us believing that the pains of losing the perhaps overrated\definitely overpaid Dan Hamhuis might not be so bad afterall.  He played a simple, smart game, and seemed to have the footspeed and defensive acumen to compliment the slower, more offensively-focused Cody Franson.  Andersson had a bit of a disappointing camp, looking to be more in the Jerred Smithson ilk than a defensively responsible scorer, but was still a useful player.  But throw out Jonas, and look only at Parent.  What does Shane O'Brien offer that Ryan Parent doesn't?

On the "pro" side, O'Brien is a tough, erm...SOB.  He out-PIM'd Jordin Tootoo by 7, and would have thus lead the team in that category.  Perhaps the greatest facet that could come of this trade is that Wade Belak's usefulness and role are even further diminished.  O'Brien can go toe-to-toe with most anyone in the league, but unlike Belak, can provide some tangible on-ice value.  If this trade means that Belak's time as anything more than a funny guy in the locker room--WIN.  As for Andersson, he was a useful player, but appears to have been surpassed by not only SK74, but also Jamie Lundmark and Matt Halischuk, both of which had better camps.

As for the "cons," O'Brien comes with a bit of a checkered past.  Last season, he was disciplined by Canucks' benchboss Alain Vigneault for nebulous "disciplinary issues."  He has a reputation for not having the greatest work ethic, and also not placing a high value on conditioning.  Could this be another reclamation project, similar to the acquisition of Sergei Kostitsyn?

I guess to err on the side of safety, they probably shouldn't room together.

As with most trades, the verdict can't really be made until we see how it unfolds.  While I'm clearly one of the preeminent hockey minds in amateur sports journalism, I allow for the outlandish possibility that maybe David Poile knows what he's doing, and there's motivations beyond what the armchair GM in all of us can see with the naked eye.

I'd be remiss not to mention one quick anecdote from last night's Meet the Team party:

After receiving my autograph from the oblivious-to-the-impending-death-knell Ryan Parent, I jokingly asked Steve Sullivan if he could talk his old friend Dan Ellis into returning to Twitter.  He immediately began laughing. Hard.

"That's not going to happen. He is a BRUISED MAN!"

I was tickled by that. :)

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