O'Brien from Vancouver. A number 4-5 type who plays solid defensive hockey. Can log 18-20 minutes a night. Is fully willing to drop the gloves and defend teammates. A little undisciplined at times but i'd rather that then passive play. On the outs with the Canucks. Still only 25.
No he isnt. Isnt that the reason he has problems with Canucks now?
I think actually a good target might be Doug Weight.
(1) Can be the 4th Centre
(2) Will be available - heck, who on NYI won't be?
(3) I think he is UFA after this season (can someone confirm?)
(4) Won't cost much in assets to acquire
(5) He plays the point on the PP
(6) Still would be able to go get an extra d-man
Along the same lines I was thinking of Eric Christensen from ATL. He is a tall C that is pretty good of faceoffs and shootouts and the PP. A good skater also. Wouldn't cost much and salary is low.
Gainey's going to go after a defender or do nothing, I think.
I have a feeling that Mathias Ohlund might be an option if Vancouver slides - veteran player, he's not the player he was before, but he's still a top 4 guy and impending UFA - the Canucks don't want him back. O'Brien's bad news, his positioning is terrible and he takes way too many lazy penalties.
Other options...Tom Preissing is a frequent healthy scratch in LA and can probably be had for a late round pick. But he's lackluster defensively and a 6th/7th defender + powerplay specialist at best. Derek Morris makes sense, strong hitter who eats up minutes, and is probably the ideal candidate (after Bouwmeester ), but the Coyotes are messed up financially and desperate for the playoffs.