Legends of Hockey -- NHL Player Search -- Player -- Dennis O'Brien
Dennis O'Brien was a solid stay-at-home defenceman who relished physical contact. He was also capable of moving the puck up ice as evidenced by his 122 career points in 592 games. O'Brien played with four NHL teams but was best known as a tough foe on the Minnesota North Stars blueline for many years.

O'Brien played Junior B with the Cobourg Cougars before spending the 1968-69 season with the OHA's St. Catharines Black Hawks. That summer he was chosen 14th overall by the Minnesota North Stars. After his first NHL training camp, the feisty rearguard was assigned to the Iowa Stars of the IHL for one season.

O'Brien split the 1970-71 schedule between the North Stars and the Cleveland Barons of the AHL. The next season he began a string of six years as a regular on the Minnesota defence. O'Brien cleared the front of his net efficiently and ruthlessly when necessary. During the 1970s, his presence in the Stars' lineup was crucial when the team locked horns with bruising outfits like the Philadelphia Flyers and Boston Bruins. When the club rebuilt itself, the defensive corps of O'Brien, Tom Reid, Fred Barrett and checking forward Lou Nanne were the only holdovers.

After settling comfortably in Minnesota, O'Brien played with four different clubs in 1977-78. He began the year with the North Stars but also toiled briefly with the Colorado Rockies and Cleveland Barons before he was claimed on waivers by the Boston Bruins. The veteran blueliner played rock solid defence for the Bruins and was a steady performer in the post-season when the club reached the Stanley Cup finals. During this period O'Brien often formed an experienced blueline tandem with Rick Smith. In 1978-79, he played 64 games for Boston and registered an impressive plus/minus rating of +16. He was used sparingly after that and retired early in the 1979-80 season.


REGULAR SEASON PLAYOFFS
Season Club League GP G A TP PIM +/- GP G A TP PIM
1967-68 Cobourg Cougars ON-Jr.B
1968-69 St. Catharines Black Hawks OHA-Jr. 52 1 19 20 235 18 1 7 8 72
1969-70 Iowa Stars CHL 72 2 18 20 331 11 0 2 2 30
1970-71 Minnesota North Stars NHL 27 3 2 5 29 -2 9 0 0 0 20
1970-71 Cleveland Barons AHL 27 1 6 7 100
1971-72 Minnesota North Stars NHL 70 3 6 9 108 +11 3 0 1 1 11
1972-73 Minnesota North Stars NHL 74 3 11 14 75 +11 6 1 0 1 38
1973-74 Minnesota North Stars NHL 77 5 12 17 166 +10
1974-75 Minnesota North Stars NHL 56 6 10 16 125 -11
1975-76 Minnesota North Stars NHL 78 1 14 15 187 -26
1976-77 Minnesota North Stars NHL 75 6 18 24 114 -35 2 0 0 0 4
1977-78 Minnesota North Stars NHL 13 0 2 2 32 -5
1977-78 Colorado Rockies NHL 16 0 2 2 12 -10
1977-78 Cleveland Barons NHL 23 0 3 3 31 -13
1977-78 Boston Bruins NHL 16 2 3 5 29 +6 14 0 1 1 28
1978-79 Boston Bruins NHL 64 2 8 10 107 +16
1978-79 Rochester Americans AHL 2 0 0 0 2
1979-80 Boston Bruins NHL 3 0 0 0 2 -4
1979-80 Binghamton Dusters AHL 6 2 5 7 65
NHL Totals 592 31 91 122 1017 34 1 2 3 101


Claimed on waivers by Colorado from Minnesota, December 2, 1977. Traded to Cleveland by Colorado for Mike Christie, January 12, 1978. Claimed on waivers by Boston from Cleveland, March 10, 1978.
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