Fantasy Impact: The Hurricanes have signed winger Patrick O’Sullivan to a one-year, two-way contract. He was a member of the organization for about five minutes during the 2008 trade deadline. Carolina moved Justin Williams to Los Angeles for him, but then he was quickly flipped to the Oilers for Erik Cole.
The Hurricanes get: A skilled, but soft and inconsistent winger. O’Sullivan had a breakout offensive campaign with the Kings back in 2007-08, scoring 22 goals and adding 31 assists. Since that point, though, he has struggled to produce. He scored only 11 times with the Oilers last season, and was promptly bought out this past summer (after being traded to the Coyotes first). He was a star in the OHL, and it was easy to see why after watching him only once. He skates very well, he sees the ice like a star, and he possesses phenomenal hands.
However, he seems unwilling or unable to compete at the level required to be a positive factor at the NHL level. He is a smart player but doesn’t go to the tough areas on the ice, and he has been called out numerous times for bailing out of plays to avoid a hit (one of the biggest no-no’s a player can commit in the game of hockey).
Fantasy Players Impacted: A two-way deal promises him nothing, but the Hurricanes have a number of forward spots open this year. After Jokinen, there are no sure things for the top two lines. Veterans like Erik Cole and Sergei Samsonov have a leg up because of their one-way contracts, but the Hurricanes appear committed to a youth movement. O’Sullivan will be battling the likes of Jeff Skinner, Drayson Bowman, Jerome Samson, Pat Dwyer, Zach Boychuk, and Zac Dalpe for a roster spot.
O’Sullivan could even slide to center behind Eric Staal and Brandon Sutter. Center is his natural position and he is a pretty decent defensive forward when he commits himself. This may hurt the short-term value of Riley Nash. This is a classic low-risk, high-reward signing. Worst case is O’Sullivan plays exactly like he did last season, and ends up riding the bus in the AHL all season.
O’Sullivan grew up in North Carolina, and he had a troubled childhood with an abusive father (read Gare Joyce’s book on the issue – O’Sullivan’s dad was/is a legitimate psychopath). However, it sounds like his father has moved out of the area.
Fantasy Players this helps, in order:
Fantasy Players this hurts, in order:
If O’Sullivan makes the team... the lines could be as follows (bear with me, Carolina’s lineup is arguably the hardest to put together right now):
Boychuk-Sutter-Cole (Boychuk and Sutter have played together and clicked in the past)