Jun 26, 2012, 2:10 PM EDT
Another day, another UFA defenseman off the market.
O’Brien, 28, has been something of a hockey nomad since breaking in with Anaheim in 2006-07. He’s spent time with the Ducks, Lightning, Canucks, Predators and Avalanche — yes, five clubs in five years — but had something of a renaissance in Colorado last season, tying a career high in assists (17) while putting 114 shots on goal, well above his previous best of 72.
Known for his partying ways (especially in Vancouver), O’Brien seemed to channel his, uh, enthusiasm last year under Avs head coach Joe Sacco, who praised the defenseman’s on-ice leadership skills, among other things.
“From a coach’s standpoint, that’s more important, but if you talk about intangibles, you can talk about O.B.,” Sacco told the Denver Post. “He brings a lot of positive energy, both on the ice and off the ice.”
Colorado GM Greg Sherman also noted O’Brien’s energy in discussing the deal.
“Having Shane under contract further solidifies our blueline,” Sherman told the Avs website. “He brings energy to our lineup and we’re pleased to have signed him to a multi-year deal.”
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