January 13, 2012

Pirates Notebook: O'Sullivan keeps his head up

By Paul Betit pbetit@pressherald.com
Staff Writer

Patrick O'Sullivan says he's reported for his second stint this season with the Portland Pirates with a desire to help the team win.


TODAY: Pirates at Springfield Falcons, 7:30 p.m.

SATURDAY: Springfield Falcons at Pirates, 7 p.m.

SUNDAY: Pirates at Manchester Monarchs, 3 p.m.

"I've come down here with a good attitude," said O'Sullivan, who has played in the NHL for much of the last six seasons. "I expect to play a ton and I intend to enjoy playing the game."

O'Sullivan had two goals and five assists in six games last month with the Pirates, who went 3-2-0-1 during his stay with the team.

Earlier this week, the Phoenix Coyotes sent O'Sullivan back to the AHL, making room for center Boyd Gordon, who came off the injured reserve list, and center Gilbert Brule, who was claimed off waivers from the Edmonton Oilers.

O'Sullivan cleared waivers when the Coyotes sent him to Portland last month. Because he appeared in 10 games for the Coyotes after his return to the NHL, he did not have to go through waivers again.

"You can't worry about the logistics of the team making decisions," O'Sullivan said. "You just have to play wherever you are and try to have fun.

"As a kid growing up, all you wanted to do was play pro hockey, and to get paid for something like that is a privilege. That's the way you've got to look at it."

Pirates Coach Ray Edwards expects a lot from O'Sullivan during his stay with his squad.

"I expect him to be a dominant player down here and help us score goals and be a leader," Edwards said.

In 2005-06 season, when he was named the AHL's top rookie, O'Sullivan had 47 goals and 46 assists in 78 games for the Houston Aeros while setting six franchise scoring records.

In 311 NHL games, O'Sullivan has 56 goals and 61 assists while playing for the Los Angeles Kings, Edmonton Oilers, Carolina Hurricanes, Minnesota Wild and the Phoenix Coyotes.

O'Sullivan, the first North Carolina native to play in the NHL, had 19 goals and 29 assists in 36 games with the Aeros last season. He also had four goals and 14 assists in the playoffs, helping Houston advance to the Calder Cup final against the champion Binghamton Senators.

"No matter where you are you want to win," O'Sullivan said. "It's important that you're on a winning hockey team, because those are the experiences that can help you to improve and learn about the game in different situations."

O'Sullivan is optimistic about the Pirates, who went 0-3 last weekend and remain mired in fourth place in the five-team Atlantic Division.

"I think the team here, if you get everybody in the lineup healthy, it could be a good team," he said.

In 23 games with the Coyotes this season, O'Sullivan has two goals and two assists.

NOTES: The Pirates travelled through the snowstorm Thursday afternoon to Springfield, Mass., where they will play the Falcons tonigh. ... Dave King, development coach for the Phoenix Coyotes, is spending a week with the Pirates.

Staff Writer Paul Betit can be contacted at 791-6424 or at:


Twitter: PaulBetitPPH


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