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Senators re-sign Jim O'Brien

Wednesday, 07.18.2012 / 2:49 PM
NHL Free Agency 2012 blog
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NHL Free Agency 2012 blog
Senators re-sign Jim O'Brien

The Ottawa Senators on Wednesday re-signed restricted free-agent forward Jim O'Brien to a two-year contract that the team says is worth $1.275 million, an average annual value of $637,500.

"It’s nice to have a contract, but I’m looking at it like any other year," O'Brien told the Ottawa Citizen. "I have a lot to prove to myself and my teammates."

O'Brien split the 2011-12 season between Ottawa and the Binghamton Senators of the American Hockey League. After scoring seven goals and adding seven assists for 14 points in 27 games at Binghamton, he was called up by the Senators on Feb. 3. O'Brien scored three times and added three assists for six points in 28 games. He scored his first NHL goal in Ottawa's 6-2 win against the Florida Panthers on Feb. 15.

The 23-year-old also played in each of the seven playoff games of Ottawa's Eastern Conference Quarterfinal series against the New York Rangers. His lone point was an assist on Kyle Turris' game-winning goal in overtime of Game 4 on April 18.

"He showed the rest of our young guys in the organization that if you work had and you’re a good citizen and do what we ask you to do in Binghamton, we will certainly call you up and give you a chance," assistant general manager Tim Murray told the newspaper.

The native of Maplewood, Minn., was Ottawa's first-round pick (No. 29) in the 2007 NHL Draft, He has six points in 34 NHL games and 78 points in 183 games at the AHL level, where he helped Binghamton win the 2011 Calder Cup.

The Senators also announced they have signed defenseman Eric Gryba to a two-year, two-way contract.

Gryba, 24, spent last season with the Binghamton Senators of the American Hockey League. He established career highs in goals (five), assists (15) and games (73), and recorded 98 penalty minutes.

"He made big strides last year ... so we just expect him to get better and better,"  Murray told the newspaper. "I believe he can come to training camp and compete for a job at the (NHL)."

Quote of the Day

The groove of being behind a bench is going to be interesting at first, but thank God we have a few exhibition games to get rid of those cobwebs. Overall the excitement of it all and the freshness and coming back refreshed, all those things are going to be assets. If [the players] come ready to give their best effort in practice and games, good things are going to happen. I'm always looking for results. It's not always on the scoreboard. It's winning and building something.

— Bryan Trottier on making his return to coaching as an assistant with the Sabres