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Red and Black Hockey

Where will O’Sullivan fit in?

The word on the street is that winger Patrick O’Sullivan will sign a one year two-way contract with the Hurricanes on Friday.  Jim Rutherford has indicated that the 25-year old, who was born in Winston-Salem, is already in Raleigh for a physical and that the deal will be struck on Friday.  The skilled winger was scheduled to make $2,387,500 this season, but his contract was bought out by the Phoenix Coyotes, making him an unrestricted free agent. 
Patty-O was part of a three-way deal at the 2009 trading deadline that sent Justin “Viva” Williams to Los Angeles, O’Sullivan to Edmonton and Erik Cole back to Carolina.  He was also part of a strange trade this summer which sent defenseman Jim Vandermeer from Phoenix to Edmonton.  The Coyotes immediately bought out O’Sullivan’s contract. 

This, frankly, is a strange move for the Canes.  I think Patty-O will be a nice addition, but there’s just not much room on the roster at either wing position.  Unless one of the veterans named Sergei Samsonov is about to be waived or bought out.  O’Sullivan is a proven NHL player, so it’s not likely that this is a signing for Charlotte.  There were rumors about Samsonov earlier in the summer, and it might come to pass that something is brewing in that department.  Given the team’s youth movement this summer, it wouldn’t be much of a surprise. 

There will certainly be people who will take umbrage at my choice of words : “proven NHL player”.  They’ll say that he may have been on an NHL roster, but that his surroundings weren’t all that great.  They’ll say that his success and even his place on the roster was sort of by default.  In five seasons, he’s played in 280 NHL games, scoring 149 (54/95) points.  His best season was 2007-08, when he was a bright star in a dark sky with the Kings.  He scored 53 (22/31) points that season.  This past season, he logged 34 (11/23) points on a really bad Edmonton team.  He’s been blasted for failing to rise to his talent level, but that same argument about his surroundings might come into play with that.  Aside from Anze Kopitar and Dustin Brown, he’s never really had any talented forwards to play with.

One other scenario would be the one that screws young Zach Boychuk.  He played well in emergency call-ups last season, and it seemed like he’d earned his stripes, but this signing might force Boychuk back down to Charlotte.  That would be great news for the Checkers, but a tough break for Boychuk. 

There’s not been any indication about the salary for O’Sullivan, but I would imagine that it’ll be a good deal less than the contract he signed with the Kings. 

Canes fans might remember all the talk and the backstory that circulated about O’Sullivan when the three-way trade went down.  He was born in Winston Salem, North Carolina to an abusive father who was playing minor league hockey there.  I won’t rehash the whole story about the abusive dad.  I’ve already done that Filed in: | Red and Black Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: carolina+hurricanes, patrick+o'sullivan


Oilers Rock's avatar

i remember o’sullivan for missing lots of wide open nets during his time with oils. he has insane shootout skills, amazing shot. i just dont get what happens to him 5on5. i hope he does amazing with ‘canes

Posted by Oilers Rock from Edmonton, Alberta on 09/17/10 at 04:26 AM ET

landsharkhockey's avatar

Seems like the Canes are hording old 1st round cast-offs from around the league, hoping one of the pans out.  low risk strategy, I guess, particularly when you don’t want to spend money.

Posted by landsharkhockey on 09/17/10 at 09:33 AM ET


For what its worth, O’Sullivan’s natural position has always been centre - though he has been playing the wing over the past few years. He’s probably got a better chance lining up down the middle than on the wing.

Posted by thatbirdguy on 09/17/10 at 09:54 AM ET

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About Red and Black Hockey

David Lee is a restaurant manager with an unused degree in political science.  He can be found at Carolina Hurricanes games, Scrabble tournaments and indie-rock shows.  Sometimes, all in the same day. 

David has contributed to CBC.ca for their Stanley Cup playoff coverage in 2006 and to the New York Times Slapshot blog for theirs in 2008. Red and Black Hockey was founded in July of 2005.

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