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Patrick O’Sullivan claimed on waivers by Wild, is it his last chance?

Nov 23, 2010, 1:32 PM EDT

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It’s funny how life can work out sometimes for an NHL player. Patrick O’Sullivan was drafted in 2003 by the Minnesota Wild but never played a game for the team after being part of the package that went to the Los Angeles Kings for Pavol Demitra. Now, he’s back with the Wild after Minnesota claimed the talented yet enigmatic playmaker off of waivers from the Carolina Hurricanes.

O’Sullivan will get the chance to jump right into the lineup thanks to the absence of Guillaume Latendresse who will miss quite a bit of time now thanks to going in for surgery to repair the labrum in his left hip and a sports hernia. I winced just writing that.

For O’Sullivan, this might be the last chance he gets to prove himself in the NHL. He’s gone from L.A., to Carolina, to Edmonton and has shown flashes of brilliance followed by a stunning inability to stick in a lineup. He’s seen the peak of his career come in Los Angeles in 2007-2008 where he looked like the kind of player Minnesota saw when they drafted him in the second round in 2003 scoring 22 goals and 31 assists. Since then, he’s gone to Edmonton where he saw his play bottom out last season finishing with 34  points and plus/minus rating of -35, a horrific number for anyone to have, even on a bad team.

For Minnesota, he’s not going to be able to do the kinds of things that Latendresse does on the ice, but he provides a setup man in the mold of Pierre-Marc Bouchard. A quick skating, slick passing center with the ability to help his wingers pick up points. With Bouchard continuing to struggle coming back from a concussion suffered last season, O’Sullivan at least helps fill that hole in the lineup at a cheap cost. If O’Sullivan doesn’t pan out, he can be sent down/waived easily at little cost to the Wild.

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