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Instant Analysis: The O'Brien Trade

by Jay Levin / Nashville Predators
This trade is the ultimate “two birds with one stone” move for the Preds. Nashville upgraded its defensive corps and improved its team toughness and size with Shane O’Brien; the move also cleared up Nashville’s roster log-jam at forward.

O’Brien is the type of defenseman that would seem to fit well into the blue-collar system Barry Trotz and his staff likes to implement. He has surpassed 150 penalty minutes in three of his four NHL seasons, including 196 in ’08-09 (second most in the league). O’Brien’s 10 major penalties were second most among defensemen in ’08-09. And he’s ranked in the top-two on his team in hits in two of the past three seasons. But he’s responsible with his physical play, recording a career +15 plus/minus rating over his 299 games played.

O’Brien also has some offense elements to his game; he’s posted double-digit point totals in three of his four seasons, with a career-high of 21 in ’07-08. His last minor league season (’05-06), O’Brien recorded eight goals and 41 points in 77 games in the AHL and followed that up with a six-goal, 22-point showing in 19 playoff games.

Additionally he’s a winner – he’s been in the playoffs during three of his four NHL seasons, getting out of the first round the last two years.

The Preds had 15 forwards on NHL one-way deals (technically Colin Wilson is still on his entry level two-way level deal, but he’s a lock for the NHL roster) but only 14 roster spots available for forwards. Moving Jonas Andersson pares that number down to 14 with quality call-up options like Matt Halischuk, Blake Geoffrion, Nick Spaling, Andreas Thuresson in Milwaukee anxiously awating a recall opportunity.

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