Monday, August 13, 2007

O'Brien officially leaves Minnesota

Last week, rumors started from an article in The Ottawa Citizen that Minnesota sophomore Jimmy O'Brien would be leaving the team and signing with the Ottawa Senators, the team who took him in the first round of the 2007 NHL Entry Draft. Minnesota head coach Don Lucia refuted those statements in both the Thursday and Saturday editions of the Star Tribune. In both instances, Lucia said he spoke directly with O'Brien, who told his head coach that he had no intentions of turning pro and that there was nothing to the rumors.

Less than one week after those claims, O'Brien has decided to forgo his final three seasons at Minnesota. He is no longer listed on the U of M's official team roster.

WCHA Blog's Take: It's certainly odd to see a player like O'Brien leave early, but it's in very poor taste on O'Brien's part to tell his head coach he's staying, and then just days later turn around and sign a pro deal.

This leaves the Gophers with just seven defensemen on the roster, with three of them being freshmen.