According to Josh Rimer, the Florida Panthers have signed veteran defenseman Shane O'Brien to a PTO. The 31-year-old veteran will try to make a good enough impression during training camp to earn a contract and become this season's Tom Gilbert or Brad Boyes.
Breaking: Shane O'Brien is going to the Florida Panthers on a PTO.— Josh Rimer (@JoshRimerHockey) September 2, 2014
O'Brien has played for the Anaheim Ducks, Tampa Bay Lightning, Vancouver Canucks, Nashville Predators, Colorado Avalanche, and most recently the Calgary Flames. Last season the Port Hope, ON native split time between the Flames and the Abbotsford Heat.
After four years in the OHL and three additional seasons in the AHL with the Cincinnati Mighty Ducks and Portland Pirates, O'Brien broke into the NHL during the 2006-07 campaign with the Ducks, suiting up in 62 games before he was traded to the Lightning. In 528 career regular season games, O'Brien has totaled 13 goals and 78 assists to go along with 911 PIM. The 8-year veteran also appeared in 40 postseason tilts.
Last season was a tough one for O'Brien, who was acquired by Calgary (with forward David Jones) from Colorado for Alex Tanguay and Cory Sarich. He appeared in 45 games with the Flames, but was waived on January 25th and sent to AHL Abbotsford after he went unclaimed. The Flames used a compliance buyout on the final year of his contract on June 30th, making him an unrestricted free agent. O'Brien will likely be coming to Sunrise with a chip on his shoulder as he looks to resurrect his career with the Panthers organization.