Canucks acquire O'Brien, Ouellet from Lightning Staff

10/6/2008 7:23:15 PM

The Vancouver Canucks have acquired defenceman Shane O'Brien and right wing Michel Ouellet from the Tampa Bay Lightning in exchange for defenceman Lukas Krajicek and right wing Juraj Simek.

O'Brien will report to Vancouver and Ouellet will report to the team's AHL affiliate in Manitoba.

"It's been a little much to handle," said O'Brien during a telephone interview with the Canadian Press. "Any time you get moved to a team, somebody wants you. As a player that's all you can ask for,  an opportunity to succeed.

"I'm just so happy Vancouver has given me the opportunity," he added. 

O'Brien, 25, spent the 2007-08 season with the Tampa Bay Lightning, recording 21 points in 77 games. The Port Hope, Ontario-native has played in 158 NHL games, scoring six goals and 31 assists for a total of 37 points and recording 330 penalty minutes.

"What we are getting is a big, physical defenceman that will give us more grit, who should be dependable defensively," Canucks coach Alain Vigneault told the Canadian Press. "We are pleased with that." 

Ouellet, 26, has played in 187 career NHL games with Tampa Bay and Pittsburgh, registering 116 points. The 6'0", 201-pound right wing was named to the AHL All-Rookie Team in 2004. B

Ouellet was selected by the Pittsburgh Penguins in the fourth round, 124th overall in the 2000 NHL Entry Draft.

Krajicek, a 25-year-old native of Prostejov, Czech Republic, came to Vancouver from Florida in the 2006 deal that brought goaltender Roberto Luongo to the Canucks. The six-foot-two 196-pounder had 13 points (2-11) in 39 games during an injury-plagued campaign last season.

"They (management) told me that Tampa wanted me for quite some time," Krajicek told CKNW in Vancouver. "They said I would play more minutes there and in every way it should better for me."