The Calgary Flames will likely use one of their two compliance buyouts to part ways with defenseman Shane O’Brien, reports Nick Kypreos of Sportsnet.
The news comes as little surprise for O’Brien, who is owed $2.2 million for the 2014-15 season under his current contract. While that’s not a particularly costly cap hit for the Flames, Pro Hockey Talk notes that O’Brien and the team had some issues earlier this year.
When the Flames sent O’Brien to the AHL near the end of the season, GM Brian Burke seemingly called out the player’s attitude to the media:
“There are two important building blocks that Bob (Hartley) has put into place here,” Burke said, per the Calgary Herald. “We work hard. And that’s not just the games people see. There’s a lifestyle he’s implemented here.”
This is all in line with O’Brien’s reputation, too, as he’s known around the league for his antics. Back in 2007, when Burke was the GM of the Anaheim Ducks, he traded O’Brien to the Lightning, so this isn’t the first time that he’s had enough, either.
O’Brien appeared in 45 games with Calgary in 2013-14, recording three assists and zero goals while averaging just over 11 minutes of ice time, a career-low. If O’Brien wants to get more consistent playing time, something he hasn’t really seen since being with the Colorado Avalanche a couple years ago, he may need to take a more professional approach.
O’Brien will now hit unrestricted free agency on July 1. In a somewhat thin market for defensemen, he’ll likely receive some interest.