It looked like he was playing a conservative preseason ....ie not make mistakes.....uncertain chip it up the boards......even a few times nicley carrying it up the ice.....making the safe play rather than going to the net. didnt work out well for him....as where Alberts really playe alot betterand was agressive without penalties or bad giveaways.Also Alberts is bigger and able to handle those big bodies more effeciently in front of the net.
with both hordi and SOB gone,,,,,thats a lot of bad penalties gone too....although Obrien did clean it up in the 2nd half.
The building problem with O'brien is he is only tough after the whistle. I noticed it started more and more when he was here and only increased with the Canucks. Definitely not a guy you can trust in pressure situations, loses his cool everytime.
SOB could be a solid soldier on another team's blueline. He's a good hockey player(when he feels like it) and a tough player(when he feels like it).
The issue I had with him was that when Canucks' management and coaching told him to reign in his stupid penalties(196 PIM in 08/09), he completely castrated his game. Gone was the toughness, the crease clearing presence and the willingness to drop the gloves.
If he has a coach who lets him have a bit of a longer leash, he could be successful...at least on the ice. His off-ice partying antics are another story.
As for Hordichuk, he's a decent fighter. But he plays hockey about as well as a rock does.
O'Brien was solid last year but there was no place for him this year. Hordichuk has always been a waste of space. All I make of this is a higher chance of Gillis signing Morrison and/or giving Schroeder a shot in the NHL
I liked SOB but all things considered, he is not a top 6 d-man on a good team. He's a #7 guy that is making at least 600k more than he should be.
He fights sometimes, but I don't consider him a "tough" or gritty player. All he does is jump in to scrums after the whistle and then comes out of them with the only assessed penalty, which just continually costs the team that he plays for and does nothing to "police" the other team. As bad as Kevin Bieksa has been this pre-season, SOB has been A LOT worse. I've never seen someone seriously make a mistake on every single shift of the pre-season.
Hordichuk can't be gone from this team soon enough.
So I guess SOB can't lose us anymore playoff games by taking very foolish penalties at the worst possible time. He had a better year in terms of playing D, however he lets his emotions get the best of him.
Hordichuk is just awful. Does not belong in NHL anymore.
EDIT: And better than Alberts too even if not in preseason.
Ya I agree with this. Some Nucks fans are really overlooking how good O'Brien has been for the last year, and particularly in both playoffs. From an on-ice perspective, waiving O'Brien is an awful move, but AV and MG disliked him for his character issues. I would of rather traded Bieksa and kept O'Brien, but that messes up the pairings as you can't have AA and O'Brien on the same pairing (there would be too much slamming the puck up the boards).
I love the physical element that AA brings, but I'm not convinced yet that his all-around game is going to be good enough to replace the bottom pairing work of O'Brien. Hope AA proves me wrong though.
O'Brien would make the majority of the D corps in the NHL better on the ice, it's just a matter of if the coaches/GMs are willing to put up with possible off-ice issues. Big "if" though.
O'Brien is still great at what he does. Any team looking to add grit to their defense corps would love O'Brien.
Great at cross checking guys in the head 3 times with a ref in front of him? great at doing it again later in the same period? great at pushing and shoving after whistles and putting his team shorthanded? great at trying to lead the rush in an elimination game leading to a breakaway on his own net?
If Montréal needed a 7th d, O'brien would be perfect for it.
Hordichuk is a scraper who can play the game somewhat.
Problem with Hordichuk is he used to be known for rarely ever taking bad penalties. Now he takes them every other time he's on the ice and seems to have gotten slower.
O'Brien is a fine 6th or 7th d-man but the Canucks have a few of those and he was badly outplayed by Alberts in the preseason, and Alberts is bigger and cheaper.
Also O'Brien has the same problem with taking ridiculous penalties too often as seen last season where the team actually benched him for it. He's been in the doghouse for quite a long time, only saved by some decent play down the stretch last season. A lot of tools but limited brain = O'Brien.
Canucks would like both claimed for the contracts as we are right near the limit to sign Morrison and possibly Schaefer.
the problem with O'Brien wasn't just on the ice... since he arrived in Vancouver he seemed to be the only player that had any off-ice issues with coaches and management... the comments given by his own teammates during his last suspension by the team (for showing up late to practice) also didn't sound like his teammates cared much for his lack of discipline.
When you're trying to be a strong playoff contender, you can't afford to have guys that aren't willing to play the role the team asks. O'Brien complained about his role when he first arrived, and even last season there was clear friction between him and the team.
And then after Alberts out-played him in camp, it was obvious he was going to be the odd man out... hard to justify getting rid of a player who showed up and earned a roster spot, over a guy who floated through preseason and already had his personal problems with the team.
As for Hordichuk, I'm glad the team finally waived him... though I'm surprised a bit, given AV's love for the no-talent bottom line grinders... but Hordichuk was absolutely useless last year, was on the ice for more goals against then the average 4th line enforcer, and wasn't good enough to see a minute of icetime in the playoffs... looks like the team has finally learned from their past mistake.
I can see O'Brien being picked up on waivers... I'd be shocked if Hordichuk is.