I suspect that having party boy Shane O'Brien in the same dressing room as all the Canucks prospects was a little like putting a Hershey's vending machine near the snack table of a Weight Watchers meeting. So, Gillis traded Shane O'Brien to Nashville, and I think Shane O'Brien's okay with that. There are lots of cowboy hats at the Roxy. He'll feel at home.
O'Brien joins the Predators organization, along with afterthought Dan Gendur, recently sent to the ECHL by the Moose. In exchange, the Canucks acquire Ryan "Suddenly a Journeyman" Parent and Swedish forward Jonas "Who?" Andersson. But whatever about those guys. Today is about Shane O'Brien. It's time to say goodbye.
Longtime readers of Pass it to Bulis (such as Skeeter, myself, and our wives) might know that we call Shane O'Brien The Pain Lion. Why? Well, it was far and away the worst suggestion for a new Shane O'Brien nickname following his fight with Wayne Simmonds and subsequent party last postseason. We at PiTB compiled all the terrible nicknames into one of our favourite posts of all time, Forum Fun! New Monikers For Shane O'Brien. Here are some highlights:
Shane "Double Guns" O'Brien
suggested by: rkoshack
Not sure if it's the most creative, but it does describe that time he flashed the double guns.
Shane "Pain Lion" O'Brien
suggested by: Godzilla Deuce
I am going to guess that a "pain lion" is a lion that is known to inflict pain. If such a thing existed, perhaps this nickname would make a little more sense. As it is, I, uh, don't know what to say. It's a bad suggestion, yet I feel strangely compelled to take it for myself.
suggested by: Jester13
Jester13 added, "I mean seriously, am I the only one making the son of a you know what connection?" Is this guy new here?
Yes, a legend was born out of that fight. A legend at least one guy suggested be known as The Pain Lion. And we agreed. Ironically.
But there was more. Last season was Shane O'Brien's best from a personality standpoint. He was all over the place in the playoffs, which might not be good if you're a defenseman, but I digress. Terry Murray called him a clown. He briefly transmogrified into a blood unicorn. He was far and away the most visibly emotional Canuck during the playoffs--a time when players are unfairly expected to exhibit unreal calm.
We identified with Shane O'Brien because he was as bad at being robotic as Robin Williams in Bicentennial Man. He had a big mouth, which meant good quotes (especially out of context) and a huge smile (especially when he scored). He also partied hard--maybe half as hard as Andrew W.K, which is still quite hard. He struggled with his weight, he was late for practices, his actions often required apologies, and he was completely aware of his flaws. He was one of us.
Without Wellwood, Bernier, and especially O'Brien, this year's Canucks seem to lack a guy who can't seem to get his crap together. A guy with major character flaws. A normal guy. Yes, Shane O'Brien was a goofy slob, but that made him like me, and I'll miss that connection.