Arizona Coyotes forward Liam O’Brien has been designated as day-to-day with an upper-body injury by head coach André Tourigny, who added that O’Brien will be out of the team’s Wednesday night game against the Minnesota Wild. O’Brien has appeared in 49 games this season, leading the league with 116 penalty minutes – 14 more than Brady Tkachuk, the only other player to break 100 penalty minutes this year.
O’Brien has leaned into the bruiser style, recording over 100 penalty minutes in each of the last three seasons. He’s totaled 404 penalty minutes across just 173 career NHL games – recording more penalty minutes per game than any other NHL player to play in 50 or more games over the last five seasons. It’s a reputation that followed him through his stints in the AHL, where he’s totaled 653 penalty minutes across just 382 minor league games. The 29-year-old winger is serving as a daily lineup fixture for the first time in his NHL career, playing in all but two of Arizona’s 51 games this season. His absence will likely earn Adam Ruzicka an extended stay in the lineup after the waiver claim made his debut with the team on Monday. While he is still waiting for his first point as a Coyote, Ruzicka has managed nine points in 39 games with the Calgary Flames this season.
Other notes around the league:
- Brendan Gallagher is eligible to return to the Montreal Canadiens lineup after serving out a five-game suspension for a hit on New York Islanders defenseman Adam Pelech. It was the first suspension of Gallagher’s 12-year career. He’s scored eight goals and 16 points through 48 games this season, ranking sixth on the team in scoring. Montreal went 2-2-1 during Gallagher’s suspension.
- Montreal Canadiens general manager Kent Hughes shared on Pierre LeBrun and Ryan Rishaug’s Got Yer’ Back podcast that the team is seeking to trade a goaltender. The Canadiens currently have three goalies on their NHL roster – Jake Allen, Sam Montembeault, and Cayden Primeau. They recently signed Montembeault to a three-year, $9.45MM contract extension, suggesting he may be the team’s preferred keeper, though he’s no stranger to being involved in trade rumors.