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Shane O’Brien hopes to stay in Vancouver

Image (1) Obrien1-thumb-250x166-10264.jpg for post 1601

Shane O’Brien is an enigma. At times capable of inspiring shut-down defense while at other times letting his emotions take control and putting himself and his teammates in some bad situations.

When the coaches came down on him in the series against the Kings for being perhaps a bit too agitating, he responded with some solid play. Of course, like the rest of the Canucks, he failed to use that same emotion and physicality when they needed it most against the Blackhawks.

Now, as he approaches restricted free agency this summer, he’s hoping to avoid the arbitration process. He says he’d love to have secure contract but that he’d be more than willing to come in and play as hard as he can for the Canucks if he’s offered just a one-year deal.

Talking to the media, per Elliott Pap of the Vancouver Sun, O’Brien says avoiding arbitration would probably be best for all involved:

“Hopefully I don’t have to go to arb and, from what I heard, it’s not a pleasant process,” he said. “They’ve probably got a lot of material they can use against me so it probably wouldn’t work too well.”

“I think I could be an even better player if I had a little bit more leeway,” O’Brien stated. “If you make a mistake, or have a bad game, they stick with you and you don’t have to worry about sitting in the press box.”

After last season’s temporary exile and the off the ice issues he’s dealt with while with Vancouver, it’s doubtful that the team is willing to make multi-season commitment. They’d likely prefer to give O’Brien one more season to prove that the weight and the maturity issues are gone, and since they cropped up just a month ago I’m sure the problems are still fresh on the minds of the front office.

And while O’Brien may prefer to come back to the Canucks, you have to wonder if living somewhere other than Vancouver would be best for the problems he’s had in the past.