Canucks' O'Brien to miss games, practice after being late Staff

3/30/2010 5:05:39 PM

Defenceman Shane O'Brien appears to be in the Vancouver Canucks' doghouse.

The 26-year-old was late for practice on Monday and as a result, did not skate with the team on Tuesday, instead, he took to the ice alone and was bag skated.

After practice, head coach Alain Vigneault said there was more to the O'Brien situation than being late on Monday and the defenceman will not play or practice with the team before Sunday

"It is not a suspension," explained the Canuck coach to reporters. "We have a plan for him. We've got a special program and the situation will be re-evaulated on Sunday."

O'Brien will miss three games (Tuesday vs. Phoenix, Thursday vs. Los Angeles and Friday vs. Anaheim).

Vigneault does not want it to become a distraction as the team has more important matters to deal with.

"We want to work on finishing first in our division and we want to get our game where it needs to be to have playoff success. There is a lot right now we are focusing on," said Vigneault. "I want to be sure all our players are in the right frame of mind."

Roberto Luongo echoed his coach's comments

"We are getting ready to play the Phoenix Coyotes," said Luongo. "That's what is on our minds and that's what we are worried about."

Alex Burrows did comment on O'Brien making a note of how popular he is on the team.

"I think Shane is one of the most likable guys in the locker-room," said Burrows. "Everyone really likes him and wants him back in the lineup."

O'Brien has played 63 games this season and has two goals with six assists and a plus-16 rating.