Goodbye Sean O’Donnell


c. 2002-03 season, Brian Rolston and Sean O’Donnell during the pregame warm ups for a game against the New York Rangers at MSG. Source: Unknown

Sean O’Donnell has officially called it quits in the NHL, after player 1224 games in the NHL and logging well over 1500 PIM, O’Donnell is one of the many players who after the season-shortening lockout as decided to move on from hockey.

Sean O’Donnell played for 10 teams in his 21 year NHL career, and won a Stanley Cup during that time as well. But Sean O’Donnell was never the biggest scorer nor did he ever do much in the passing department, but he could certainly fight. Sean O spent a 3 season stint with the Boston Bruins between 2001 and 2004, he was apart of the less than favorable defensive core the Bruins had to offer during that time but he was one of the more memorable faces on the ice. He wasn’t an all-star like Nick Bonyton, he didn’t produce like Gonchar, Berard, or McGillis, and he wasn’t a marshmellow like Gil. He was pretty much the equivalent of today’s Adam McQuaid, he was the Bruins’ tough guy on the blue line.

O’Donnell was possibly the best tough guy blue liner the team had at the time, he dropped the gloves at any real chance he got and had a few memorable fights in a Bruins uniform (the one that stands out in my mind was the duel against Lindros at MSG in 04, I believe Ian Moran and Barnaby also got into a spirited tilt as well.), he would one of many left to walk after the 2004-05 lockout by the Bruins (a list that included Brian Rolston, Sergei Gonchar, Mike Knuble, Michael Nylander, and Felix Potvin. ) , Sean O’ would continue his career with the Phoenix Coyotes, Mighty Ducks of Anaheim, a return to the Kings in 2008 , a one season stint with the Flyers in 2010-11 (where he fought Nathan Horton in the playoffs) and a 51 game bid in Chicago before ending his career. Former teammate Patrice Bergeron even had some kind words to say about O’Donnell.

O’Donnell won’t be a hall of famer, he didn’t set any benchmarks in points, but he won’t be forgotten by those who got to see him patrol the blue line and give us Bruins fans something to cheer about during those dark days.