James O'Brien

I am a contributing editor/writer/troublemaker for NBC's Pro Hockey Talk blog.
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Ryan O’Reilly takes Tyler Seguin’s spot for Team Canada

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Team Canada decided not to wait to announce Tyler Seguin‘s replacement for the 2016 World Cup of Hockey, tabbing Ryan O'Reilly as the guy.

As you’d expect from the powerhouse hockey nation, Canada had plenty of great choices to sift through, ranging from the more rugged (Wayne Simmonds?) to the sort of talented player who was drafted before Seguin (Taylor Hall).

O’Reilly is a fine choice, if stylistically quite different from Seguin.

Could be accurate.

With O’Reilly and Patrice Bergeron among Canada’s mix, you won’t find many better two-way combinations in this tournament.

At the moment, the most known about Seguin is that he’s reportedly day-to-day with a knee injury.

The Stars released the following statement about Seguin, who is “disappointed” to back out of the tournament.

Canada’s GM Doug Armstrong also discussed the unfortunate news.

Reality sinks in as P.K. Subban skates with Predators for the first time

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P.K. Subban seems primed to be a great, great fit for the Nashville Predators.

It’s still a little mind-blowing to realize that the trade actually happened, though.

Tuesday presented the latest reminder of that reality, as Subban geared up for the 2016-17 season by skating with his new teammates for the first time. Despite the considerable talent on hand in Nashville, it’s interesting that the team notes the presence of “almost every NHL regular in attendance.”

Aside from a Filip Forsberg here and a Pekka Rinne there, quite a few key Predators aren’t involved in the 2016 World Cup of Hockey. Subban, of course, stands as the most glaring omission.

That’s not such a bad thing for the Predators, as it gives their new star more time to get acclimated and means that he’ll deal with less exposure to injury risks. Subban notes that he doesn’t skate too often during the off-season, so this is a useful tune-up overall.

Seriously though, it’s still a little weird to see Subban in a Predators jersey:

Report: Knee injury might end Tyler Seguin’s World Cup appearance

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Tyler Seguin might be out of the 2016 World Cup of Hockey because of a knee injury, according to Sportsnet’s Nick Kypreos.

Earlier in the night, Kypreos indicated that he would be out week-to-week, but he updated it to more of a 7-10 day window. That’s good news for the Dallas Stars, but not so much for Canada.

If this report is accurate, then Canada will have some time to figure out a replacement. During that same Sportsnet intermission report, Elliotte Friedman notes that they have 24 hours until the tournament begins to bring someone else in.

It’s possible that this was the moment of the reported injury:

Nothing official has surfaced from Canada or the Dallas Stars, but you can bet that Seguin’s NHL team will demand a safer approach to their star, particularly after his injury-ravaged end to 2015-16.

Canucks announce three PTOs, including Tuomo Ruutu

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The Vancouver Canucks confirmed today’s earlier news about handing James Sheppard a PTO, but there are two other names on the invite list: Tuomo Ruutu and Kevin Carr.

It’s interesting that the Canucks are taking fliers on two players who struggled a bit to live up to first-round hype.

As PHT discussed earlier, Sheppard found it difficult to live up to being the ninth pick of the 2006 NHL Draft. Interestingly enough, Ruutu was also the ninth selection five years earlier in 2001.

Ruutu’s numbers have really dropped in his last few seasons with the New Jersey Devils, managing just an assist in 33 games in 2015-16.

Sheppard may actually have a little more potential to make an impact since he’s still just 28 (Ruutu’s dealt with a lot of wear and tear thanks to his physical style and is 33 years old).

Carr, 26, is a goalie who spent last season in the ECHL and hasn’t played in the NHL so far in his netminding career.

Report: Blue Jackets give Mike Brown and his sweet mustache a PTO

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It doesn’t really hurt a team to give a player a look without handing out a full-blown contract, so the Columbus Blue Jackets aren’t leaving many stones un-turned.

They’ve already handed tryouts to veterans such as Jarret Stoll and Marc-Andre Bergeron, and now tough guy Mike Brown is getting a PTO as well, according to Sportnet’s Chris Johnston. (The Globe & Mail’s James Mirtle also reports as much.)

Blue Jackets head coach John Tortorella likely approves of the 31-year-old’s rough, gritty style.

He’s only seen sparse reps at the NHL level lately, so his best selling point might be as a depth option when the Blue Jackets anticipate an especially physical encounter.

Most importantly, he usually sports a really sweet ‘stache:

NEW YORK, NY - OCTOBER 17: Mike Brown #18 of the San Jose Sharks checsk Thomas Hickey #14 of the New York Islanders during the first period at the Barclays Center on October 17, 2015 in the Brooklyn borough of New York City. (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)
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