The Arizona Coyotes announced that they have signed forward Liam O’Brien to a two-year contract extension (link). As per club policy, the terms of the contract have not been made available at this time. O’Brien had signed a one-year deal with the Coyotes back on July 28, 2021, and would have become a UFA after this season. PuckPedia reports that the contract will carry a cap hit of $775K.
O’Brien has been a bright spot for the Coyotes and their fans this year. While he has just two goals and one assist in 37 games for Arizona this season, he does lead the NHL in penalty minutes with 106 and is second on the team with 131 hits. Coyotes’ GM Bill Armstrong described O’Brien as a “hard-working player with great character who is always there to support his teammates.”
The O’Brien extension is the second handed out by the Coyotes this weekend, having extended forward Travis Boyd yesterday. While these players may not be the building blocks of the Coyotes rebuild, the club has made clear that they want to keep parts of their veteran core in place, presumably to help develop and move along the future young core of this team, especially as it transitions to its temporary home at Arizona State University. The extensions also represent a willingness of current Coyotes players who are comfortable signing on to continue their stay in Arizona despite the many changes ahead of them.